In the story The Ambitious Guest, who is this guest? What could he want?

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lhc eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The guest, as described by the author, is "of a proud, yet gentle spirit--haughty and reserved among the rich and great; but ever ready to stoop his head to the lowly cottage door, and be like a brother or a son at the poor man's fireside."  The author also tells us that the young man is motivated by ambition, to somehow be remembered for something important someday:

The secret of the young man's character was a high and abstracted ambition. He could have borne to live an undistinguished life, but not to be forgotten in the grave. Yearning desire had been transformed to hope; and hope, long cherished, had become like certainty, that, obscurely as he journeyed now, a glory was to beam on all his pathway,--though not, perhaps, while he was treading it.

As for what the young man wants when he comes upon the family's home, he says only that he is headed to Burlington, Vermont, and has not made it as far as he had hoped by nightfaull, for "a pedestrian lingers along a road such as this."