Bob Cratchit is not very close with Mr. Scrooge. He is afraid of him, and Scrooge does not even know he has a crippled son.
Bob Cratchit is Scrooge’s clerk. Even though he is the only person that Scrooge interacts with on a daily basis, Scrooge does not treat him well. When Bob gets excited at Fred’s Merry Christmas speech, Scrooge threatens to fire him.
“Let me hear another sound from you,” said Scrooge, “and you’ll keep your Christmas by losing your situation! …” (Stave 1)
The other problem is that Scrooge does not pay Cratchit enough to support his family. Sadly, this has resulted in Cratchit’s youngest son Tim being crippled and on the brink of death. When the Ghost of Christmas Present shows Scrooge this, he feels sorry for him.
“Spirit,” said Scrooge, with an interest he had never felt before, “tell me if Tiny Tim will live.” (Stave 3)
One of the first things the reformed Scrooge does is talk to Bob Cratchit about his affairs. He not only makes sure he is paid more, he also becomes a friend and like a second father to little Tim—who does not die.