The man was younger and lacked "imagination". His hubris prevented him from understanding what nature would do when disrespected. The old man from Sulfur Creek knew that travelling in such severe weather, especially alone, was foolhardy. The man thought he could outlast nature and paid the ultimate price.
can you explain
poster to build a fire
In simpler terms the Old Man from Sulfur Creek had the experience and respect for nature to know that a man should not travel alone in such cold. The younger man disregarded this information thinking he was tronger than what nature could throw at him. The man paid the price for his attitude.