Because of the tirade that Eckels's having stepped off the Path triggers in Travis and the guide's further treatment of him, Eckels must doubt that he will find that he has "done nothing" when he returns to the present.
There are certainly indications that Eckels fears somewhat that his having gone off the anti-gravity path will have negative consequences when he returns in the Time Machine to Safari, Inc.:
- Eckels is well aware that Travis is insistent that he not go off the path, and when this guide discovers that Eckels has mud and moss on the bottom of his shoes, he becomes extremely irate:
It’s his shoes! Look at them! He ran off the Path. That ruins us! We’ll forfeit! Thousands of dollars of insurance! We guarantee no one leaves the Path. He left it.
Weakly, Eckels, aware of his offence, tries to defend himself by mitigating what he has done,
“Just ran off the Path, that’s all, a little mud on my shoes— what do you want me to do—get down and pray?”
- He also tries to "pay anything" to the guides and pulls out his checkbook.
- Travis is so disturbed and angry at Eckels's violation that he orders him out of the Time Machine: "Get out of here!" Then, a calmer Travis makes Eckels retrieve the bullets from inside the dead Tyrannosaurus Rex, instead. Fearfully, Eckels complies.
The anger of Travis at Eckels's mistake and Eckels's efforts to mitigate his offense and to pay off Travis suggest that he does not believe that he will find everything the same when he returns to Safari, Inc.