The entire story is a social commentary about the plight and conditions of the poor. Dickins, himself, faced horrible poverty when his family was arrested and put into a debtor's prison. He, himself, went to work at a shoe blacking factory where what he had to endure there he only told one other person about his entire life. That person never shared the information, only to suggest that it was heinous. If you will notice, Dickins takes particular aim at lawyers, businessmen, and those in the government. More noble are those who are the working poor.