From the beginning, Roger proves that he has the capacity to change and has been caught in the middle of a horrible decision which he comes to regret. After trying to mug Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones, he doesn't really try to resist her efforts to drag him to her...
From the beginning, Roger proves that he has the capacity to change and has been caught in the middle of a horrible decision which he comes to regret. After trying to mug Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones, he doesn't really try to resist her efforts to drag him to her house. He also uses kind manners and treats her with respect in addressing her after his attempt at mugging her fails.
Once inside her home, Roger realizes that he can choose to flee:
After he had dried his face and not knowing what else to do dried it again, the boy turned around, wondering what next. The door was open. He could make a dash for it down the hall. He could run, run, run, run, run!
But he doesn't run. Instead, he follows the directions he's given, and even when presented with a clear opportunity to take the money he'd tried to originally steal, Roger refrains from doing so:
The woman did not watch the boy to see if he was going to run now, nor did she watch her purse which she left behind her on the day-bed. But the boy took care to sit on the far side of the room where he thought she could easily see him out of the corner of her eye, if she wanted to. He did not trust the woman not to trust him. And he did not want to be mistrusted now.
Because Mrs. Jones shows concern and kindness for this young boy whom she does not know, Roger doesn't want to inflict any further harm on her. He respects her and her efforts in feeding him and trusting him—particularly after the stunt he's pulled. Mrs. Jones helps Roger to understand that everyone makes mistakes, and she confesses that she's made her share of them:
I have done things, too, which I would not tell you, son—neither tell God, if he didn’t already know.
Mrs. Jones offers Roger kindness, generosity, and trust, and then she actually gifts him the money he originally tried to steal from her. Roger does not want to be mistrusted because he now understands that his actions have consequences, and he can choose a better path—one that doesn't harm other innocent people. Although he never sees her again, it's easy to imagine that this evening transforms Roger into a young man who respects himself enough to avoid such trouble in the future.