The framework narrator has this to say about Simon Wheeler and his story:
...if I asked old Wheeler about him, it would remind him of his infamous Jim Smiley, and he would go to work and bore me to death with some exasperating reminiscence of him as long and as tedious as it should be useless to me. If that was the design, it succeeded.
From his tone, you can tell that his opinion is not high. Terms like "infamous" are sarcastic, letting us know that he is only infamous to Wheeler. When he says flat out "he would go to work and bore me to death," this indicates just how badly directed he finds Wheeler's energies. The man bores him so profoundly it seems like he's working at it! He seems like a waste of time, and a painful one.