The people of Raveloe, which is hardly a cosmopolitan, varied, or visited place, made much of whatever was different and new. Silas Marner was one of few emigrants who arrived in the town after a bad misunderstanding involving a robbery prompted him to leave the former city where he was living before.
Being that he looked physically different than the people of Raveloe, he also had specific characteristics that made him look different, such as protuberant eyes, their brownish color, and his squinting. He also was prone to fits. However, this added to the mystery when they saw that Silas had a capacity to work with concoctions and that he used one to cure Sally Oates from her feelings of dropsy. This immediately made him a local mystery and legend, attributing him supernatural powers and capacities that he, himself, knew he did not have. Since he is also a loner and prefers to stay away from society, people continued creating myths about him. In all, he was regarded as an enigmatic and nearly surreal man.