What were his feelings on paying for houses and a lifetime of work?

Walden or life in the woods

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Thoreau took inspiration from a six foot by three foot box he saw by the railroad, in which a man could sleep comfortably and compares it to an $800 house in town for which an unmarried laborer would have to save for ten to fifteen years to purchase. He scoffs at working a lifetime merely to pay for bills and debts. Thoreau prefers the wildernss where he builds his own house and works for himself. He does not enslave anybody nor owe anybody.