One of Soapy's major weaknesses is his lack of ambition. He wants no more than just to sit and be cared for and otherwise left alone; his "hibernatorial ambitions...were not of the highest". He does not have a great desire for riches or material things, however, which could be considered a strength. While "more fortunate fellow New Yorkers...(buy) their tickets to Palm Beach and the Riviera each winter", all Soapy wants is a place offers him "assured board and bed and congenial company", like jail.
Soapy has resourcefulness, a strength which is manifest in an ironic way. He knows exactly what he must do to achieve his goal of being arrested and sent to the Island prison, and "at once set(s) about accomplishing his desire". Even though things do not work out the way he plans, he persists in pursuing his decided objective.
A glaring weakness in Soapy's character is his laziness. The idea of having to take a bath to receive a bed from one of the local charitable organizations is odious to him. He is content merely to spend his days sitting "on his bench in the park", and, sluglike, "moves uneasily" only when a dead leaf - "Jack Frost's (calling) card" - falls in his lap.