Mr. Shiftlet is a drifter. He is ragged and gaunt, and dresses like a tramp in once-nice clothes.
Mr. Shiftlet is described as “a tramp and no one to be afraid of.” He stops by the Crawford farm one day unannounced, but apparently just passing through.
From his appearance, it seems that Mr. Shiftlet has fallen on hard times. He does not look fortunate now, but seems to have been in the past. He wears “a black town suit and a brown felt hat” and carries a tin tool box.
His left coat sleeve was folded up to show there was only half an arm in it and his gaunt figure listed slightly to the side as if the breeze were pushing him.
Mr. Shiftlet tips his hat to reveal long, black, slicked-back hair. He is described as a young man. This is apparently enough for Mrs. Crawford, because she decides he is suitable husband material despite the fact that he is just a tramp who shows up out of nowhere.