Smirnov does not leave; he instead stays and confesses his love for Popova.
Smirnov had visited Popova’s home in attempts to collect his debt. Smirnov sold oats to Popova’s husband, sometimes on credit, unfortunately, the husband died in his debt. Smirnov sought to settle an urgent debt of his own which was due the next day. However, Popova had no money at hand and promised to pay on a later date. This infuriated Smirnov, who refused to leave Popova’s home claiming he was in dire need of the money owed.
Popova, on the other hand, was mourning her late husband. She avoided all social interactions, especially with men. She did this to prove her fidelity to her late husband who was promiscuous. Smirnov blamed women for infidelity and avoided the opposite sex. This aspect made him rude towards women as seen by how he talked to Popova. However, in the end, Smirnov fell in love with Popova, who reciprocated by kissing him.
How angry I am with myself! I'm in love like a student, I've been on my knees....
I love you! What do I want to fall in love with you for? To-morrow I've got to pay the interest, and begin mowing, and here you....
[Puts his arms around her]
I shall never forgive myself for this....
Get away from me! Take your hands away! I hate you! Let's go and fight!
[A prolonged kiss. Enter LUKA with an axe, the GARDENER with a rake, the COACHMAN with a pitchfork, and WORKMEN with poles.]
[Catches sight of the pair kissing]
[Lowering her eyes]
Luka, tell them in the stables that Toby isn't to have any oats at all to-day.