The stage directions give the audience a very clear impression of the kind of man Hobson is based on his appearance. Note how he is described as he enters, somewhat after Act I begins:
He is fifty-five, successful, coarse, florid, and a parent of the period. His hat is on. It is one of those felt hats which are halfway to tall hats in shape. He has a heavy gold chain and masonic emblems on it. His clothes are bought to wear.
What strikes the audience about Hobson then, from his very first entrance and before he has even said anything, are the obvious signs of his wealth and prosperity. Even though he is old for the period, it is clear that he is a man who is still full of life and "florid." The signs of his wealth are the "heavy gold chain" with the various masonic emblems that it bears, again testifying to the fact that he is a man of some consequence. The fact that his clothes are "bought to wear" is something that indicates he has enough disposable income to have clothes specifically to wear outside the house, whereas so many would have just had everyday clothes. The audience would therefore be struck by the impression of a wealthy, successful and somewhat lively character who has clearly done well for himself.