Being a landowner in this time, was seen as having power. It was something sought after by many men and they would stop at nothing to get what they wanted. Putnam wanted more and more land and Corey Giles owned land.
Corey Giles was a strong old man. He has just converted to Christianity. He had never gone to church until he married his wife. He is a simple man and not the most intelligent. When he says that his wife is reading some strange books, he opens the door for her being accused of witchcraft. He knows his wife is innocent, but he is powerless to do anything about it. He also knows that it was his own doing that has put his wife on trial and possibly death. Danforth and the court torture Giles. They lay heavy stones on top of him, slowly crushing him to death. His last words are "more weight". He refuses to give the courts any names or confess to anything. He knows that by him keep silent, the court can not confiscate his land, and therefore his sons will inherit the land.
Putnam was not above using any means necessary to keep his power. Giles, being such a simple man, in the end outsmarted Putnam in the end. He proved that land is important and was willing to die to keep his land out of the hands of a man like Putnam. His death made sure that his children would rightfully be landowners now.