In a work of literature, tone refers to the author's attitude toward the subject he/she is writing about. It is the atmosphere that the author meant to put into the story. Authors develop the tone primarily through their word choice. Tone is distinguished from mood in that the mood conveys what the reader feels while reading a work of literature.
In "The Pedestrian" by Ray Bradbury, the tone is one of loneliness. Bradbury is trying to portray the isolation felt by people in the year 2053. Because of technology, people are never outside. They are holed up in their own homes watching television, and they do not interact with others. In the opening paragraph, Bradbury sets the tone of loneliness through words like "silence," "alone," and "grassy seams of buckling concrete." The buckling concrete shows a lack of care and maintenance, and the word choice of "silence"—rare in a city—and "alone" set a tone of isolation.
To enter out into the silence that was the city at eight o'clock of a misty evening in November, to put your feet upon that buckling concrete walk, to step over grassy seams and make your way, hands in pockets, through the silences, that was what Mr. Leonard Mead most dearly loved to do. He would stand upon the corner of an intersection and peer down long moonlit avenues of sidewalk in four directions, deciding which way to go, but it really made no difference; he was alone in this world of A.D. 2053, or as good as alone, and with a final decision made, a path selected, he would stride off, sending patterns of frosty air before him like the smoke of a cigar.
Further along in the story, Mr. Mead is stopped by a police car. Bradbury's word choice shows the lack of human interaction when he describes the "metallic voice" coming across the speakers, and, later, the "iron voice" from the police car. Mr. Mead discovers that there is no one in the police car, which furthers the idea that technology has isolated human beings from each other. Readers can infer that Bradbury sees technology as an enemy to human connection and interaction.