The Question and Answer section for A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
Pelayo and Elisenda decide the old man is an angel.
The fantastical elements of the story are entrancing for children..... it's a beautiful story. As for adults, there is also a deeper meaning and lesson involved, meaning, you never know who will come to your door. Treat everyone like a neighbor.
The narrator stresses the old man's disheveled appearance in order to dissuade us from immediately believing the old man to be an angel. In my own opinion, we are meant to be skeptical as the townspeople.