We all have images of what we would like to be, how we would like to look, how much money we would like to have. Richard Cory had all those things. People looked at him admiringly. He dressed correctly.
"He was a gentleman from sole to crown" (line 3)
In other words, he looked good from toe to head. He was slim, and he was
"...always human when he talked." (line 6)
This meant that he could talk to everyone. He didn't put on airs that he was too good. The girls liked him because he "fluttered pulses". But, on top of it all, he was rich!!
"....yes, richer than a king ..." (line 9)
His manners were also impeccable. The people of the town just admired the man. They all wanted to be like him. He was a role model to them.
But money doesn't buy you happiness. Richard Cory was not a happy man. He went home one day and shot himself in the head. The people thought that the man had everything, everything they wanted and worked to attain, but he didn't. Something was very lacking in his life, and it was enough for him to end it. That is the tragedy.