Candy tells George and Lennie:
"I got hurt four years ago. They'll can me purty soon. Jus' as soon as I can't swamp out no bunkhouses they'll put me on the county. Maybe if I give you guys my money, you'll let me hoe in the garden even after I ain't no good at it. An' I'll wash dishes an' little chicken stuff like that. But I'll be on our own place, an' I'll be let to work on our own place."
Candy must realize he would be a liability and an increasing burden as he grew older. There isn't much he can do with only one hand. Being "put on the county" meant going to some old-age home where there was nothing for old people to do but sit around and wait to die. Being able to live on his own little farm seems like paradise compared to what Candy would receive from the county in those days. He could hardly expect George to want to take him in or the dream of owning their own house and a few acres of land, except for the fact that he has three hundred dollars in cash. That money makes all the difference, because George and Lennie might never accumulate that much capital. They spend all the money they earn.
What Candy really wants is a feeling of security. He is afraid. The future looks bleak to him. His employers have no sympathy or pity. He is old enough to realize that this is a cold, cruel world in which men all have to compete for survival. Candy actually becomes more enthusiastic about George and Lennie's dream than they are. He is always thinking about it. He comes into the barn later in the story eager to tell Lennie about some new idea.
"Oh, Lennie! You in here? I been figuring some more. Tell you what we can do, Lennie."
And then he sees the dead body of Curley's wife, and he realizes that his last hope has vanished. He never does get to tell George or Lennie the idea he had in mind. This is the point in the story where the reader feels the message implied in the novel's title.
The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!
Robert Burns, "To a Mouse"
After hearing George and Lennie's yearning for a dream farm, Candy offers to contribute all of his savings towards the two men's goal. Not only does he offer to give in his life savings, he also wants to be a part of their farm, also offering to help around and handle any tasks given to him that he can accomplish, such as managing the garden and chickens.
Candy fears that soon he will be fired from the ranch. Since it was mentioned in the story that Candy had lost one of his hands in an accident, he knew that he was useless compared to the other ranch workers. Additionally, his dog, who at once was considered his best friend, was put out of its misery (killed), because it was too old and was therefore suffering.
Overall, with these troubles that Candy can soon encounter, Candy does not know what to do to prevent these troubles. Once hearing George and Lennie's plans, he found it a perfect opportunity to escape his troubles, by leaving and working in a magnificent farm where he cannot be judged or worried by his disability.
The farm represents something that can be used for all of the three to "escape" the real world.