When Edward Arlington Robinson wrote his poem "Richard Cory" in the 1890s, the United States had been in an economic depression. Most people were poor. The main character of the poem, Cory, is extremely wealthy and the people are very envious of him. He is "richer than a king"; the people on the pavement looked at him. In other words, they are walking and he is in a fine carriage. The poor people "went without the meat, and cursed the bread", while Cory "glittered when he walked." Cory is a gentleman, and he seemingly has everything. But the people do not really know him; they look at him from afar. No doubt due to his loneliness, despite and perhaps because of his wealth, Cory kills himself.
So on we worked, and waited for the light, And went without the meat, and cursed the bread; And Richard Cory, one calm summer night, Went home and put a bullet through his head.
Simon and Garfunkel wrote a very popular song based on Robinson's poem; it is attached below as the third link.