Max is so appealing to Feld because Feld sees Max as a means to an end. Basically, Feld sees Max as Miriam's ticket to a better life. Because his daughter refuses to attend college, Feld sees a potential romance between the two as a way for Miriam to improve her station in life.
Feld reasons that Max's own commitment to higher education may even inspire Miriam to pursue her own studies. If not, he imagines that marriage between the two will still be a positive development. Miriam will be married to a 'fine scholarly boy' instead of wasting her youth working in an office with 'loud-mouthed salesmen and illiterate shipping clerks.' So, Feld puts his plan into action. He tries to get Max to go out on a date with Miriam.
For his part, Max does take Miriam out on two dates; however, the relationship never really gets off the ground. Sadly, Feld had not bargained for the fact that Miriam and Max might be ill-suited for each other.