Whom did Jane meet as she rested on her trip to Hay and who did this man turn out to be in Jane Eyre?
When Jane takes the job at Thornfield, Mr. Rochester is not there. She does not meet him. On her trip to Hay, she runs into a man on a horse. The man falls off, and she feels bad.
He passed, and I went on; a few steps, and I turned; a sliding sound and an exclamation of “What the deuce is to do now?” and a clattering tumble, arrested my attention. (ch 12, p. 81)
Jane therefore gets to know Mr. Rochester before she knows who he is, and he gets to know her before he really knows who she is. Although Jane is highly embarrassed when she finds out who he is, this meeting actually had a great impact on their relationship. Mr. Rochester finds the whole thing very funny. The first time they meet, they are strangers—not employer and employee. This is one of the reasons they are able to fall in love, despite the difference in social class.