Near the end of "A Worn Path," Welty reveals the reason for Phoenix’s arduous journey into town: to obtain medicine to alleviate the pain and swelling of her grandson’s burned throat. While medicine provides a logical, tangible reason for her trek, love and hope are the old woman’s true motivators.
Despite encountering obstacles—including a hill, a thorn bush, a log, a barbed-wire fence, a big dog, and a hunter—Phoenix perseveres. When she meets the condescending hunter who tells her to turn around and go home, she declares,
"I bound to go to town, mister … The time come around."
He gave another laugh, filling the whole landscape. "I know you old colored people! Wouldn't miss going to town to see Santa Claus!"
Santa Claus and frivolity are definitely not the reasons for Phoenix's journey. Even after the racist hunter half-seriously threatens her with a gun before commending her bravery, he repeats,
"But you take my advice and stay home, and nothing will happen to you."
(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1442 words.)