The first meeting between Lyddie and Mistress Cutler is awkward, uncomfortable, and unpleasant. It also sets the standard for their subsequent interactions. Thanks to Mistress Cutler, with her overbearing manner and contempt for those who work for her, Lyddie comes to dislike her new job at Cutler's Tavern.
The first meeting between the two foreshadows how Mistress Cutler will treat Lyddie. When she sees the young girl with dusty hair standing outside the tavern in her bare feet, with her boots slung over her shoulder and wearing a worn homespun dress, Mistress Cutler immediately jumps to the conclusion that Lyddie is from the margins of society. Lyddie is certainly does not appears to be the kind of person that Mistress Cutler would want hanging around outside her establishment.
So Mistress Cutler approaches Lyddie and looks her up and down as if she were a stray dog. She then tells Lyddie to move along, as hers is a respectable tavern, not a township poor house. Lyddie explains that she is the new girl at the tavern. However, Mistress Cutler, as is her wont, doesn't make any effort to apologize for her misunderstanding. Instead, she brusquely orders Lyddie to go to the kitchen, where Triphena, the cook, will tell her where she can wash.