Candy describes the boss as a “nice feller, but “You got to take him right” (chapter 2).
Candy tells George and Lennie that the Boss was angry that they were not on time, but is a good man even though he gets mad.
“Well, he’s a pretty nice fella. Gets pretty mad sometimes, but he’s pretty nice. Tell ya what—know what he done Christmas? Brang a gallon of whisky right in here and says, ‘Drink hearty, boys. Christmas comes but once a year.’” (chapter 2)
The boss is shrewd and suspicious. He wants to know why George speaks for Lennie, and warns the men not to try to pull anything over on him.
“All right. But don’t try to put nothing over, ‘cause you can’t get away with nothing. I seen wise guys before.” (chapter 2)
There are many indications in the first chapter that the boss has a quick temper, but otherwise does seem to care somewhat about the men.