Kino, the protagonist in Steinbeck's novella The Pearl, faces many different conflicts. The conflicts he faces are both internal (man verses self) and external (man verses man/supernatural/nature).
Internally, Kino faces the horrible thought of his son dying. His son, bitten by a scorpion, faces certain death if not treated by a doctor. This will cost Kino, and he simply does not have the money.
Externally, after finding the pearl, Kino faces many different challenges--people try to steal the pearl (man verses man), buyers try to lower the actual value of the pearl (man verses man), and the pearl itself (nature/supernatural).
In essence, each conflict which arises forces Kino to make decisions based upon his fears about what could happen or what has happened. In the end, Kino's ownership of the pearl causes him more loss than if he had not found the pearl in the first place. Essentially, the pearl itself causes the most conflict for Kino and his choice to throw the pearl back into the ocean proves to one made far too late.
These conflicts, which arise after the scorpion bite, force Kino to make decisions which put his family in great harm. It is not until Kino chooses to rid his family of the cursed pearl that he is able to move on.