Ichabod Crane is a lowly schoolmaster who must travel from town to town to earn his living. He is at the mercy of the town's hospitality for food and shelter. The educational system at that time in United States history was not centrally located as it is today; so, school teachers were highly respected as one of the most educated people in the community, next to the preacher. Hence, Crane has respect from the townspeople but he is not a land owner. When Crane discovers Katrina Van Tassel, he also discovers her father's wealth provided by a well-flourishing farm. Irving describes his hero in the following passage and after describing Katrina:
"Ichabod Crane had a soft and foolish heart towards the sex; and it is not to be wondered at that so tempting a morsel soon found favor in his eyes, more especially after he had visited her in her paternal mansion. Old Baltus Van Tassel was a perfect picture of a thriving, contented, liberal-hearted farmer. . . The pedagogue's mouth watered as he looked upon this sumptuous promise of luxurious winter fare. In his devouring mind's eye, he pictured to himself every roasting-pig running about with a pudding in his belly, and an apple in his mouth;"
It seems to be clear that Ichabod not only thought that Katrina was beautiful but he also wanted her for her father's money. To a struggling schoolmaster, both prizes seemed a great reward for all of his traveling, education and hard work.