In Tuck Everlasting, why does the man in the yellow suit visit the Fosters' house?

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The Man in the Yellow Suit goes to the Fosters’ house to find out about the source of the spring.

The Man in the Yellow Suit is chasing a lead.  He believes that the spring originated somewhere in the area.  He wants to find the spring to exploit it for profit.  He is basically looking for any information from the locals that might prove that the story he has heard is true.

Winnie and her grandmother are not being very receptive to his questions, but then they hear the music from the woods.  Winnie’s grandmother forgets to be cautious and tells the man that the music is from elves.  He gets excited when he realizes that she has heard the music before.

Then the moon rose. The man came to himself and sighed. His expression was one of intense satisfaction. … Then he turned and disappeared down the shadowy road, and as he went he whistled, very softly, the tinkling little melody from the wood. (Ch. 4)

The man believes that he has the source of the spring.  The music clearly means something to him, and so does the fact that Winnie’s grandmother has heard it before.  It is a mysterious sound, and to him it means he is on the right track.

That music comes from Mae Tuck’s music box.  It is one of her most prized possessions. It is clear that Mae has played it near the spring before.  It comforts Mae, and she plays the music absentmindedly when she is distressed.  She tells Winnie that she didn’t realize that others could hear.

When he does find the Tucks, the Man in the Yellow Suit explains why he was fascinated with them based on stories his grandmother told him.

I was fascinated by my grandmother's stories. People who never grew older!  It was fantastic. It took possession of me. I decided to devote my life to finding out if it could be true, and if so, how and why. (Ch. 19)

Of course, the Man in the Yellow Suit is a threat to the Tuck family.  They do not want anyone to know that they live forever.  They also do not want anyone to know about the spring, and the man wants to sell the knowledge.  This turns into disaster when Mae accidentally kills him.  The constable says that she will go to the gallows if the man dies.  This is foreshadowing because she is arrested and should be hanged, but since she would not die, the secret would get out if they tried.  This is why Winnie has to make the choice to break her out.

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In Tuck Everlasting, why does the man in the yellow suit go to the Foster's house? 

Twenty years prior to the events of Tuck Everlasting occurring, the man in the yellow suit was told about a mysterious family.  The family that he was told about supposedly never got any older.  

". . . my grandmother told me stories. They were wild, unbelievable stories, but I believed them. They involved a dear friend of my grandmother's who married into a very odd family. . . This friend of my grandmother's, she lived with her husband for twenty years, and strange to say, he never got any older. She did, but he didn't. And neither did his mother or his father or his brother."

In addition to the strange details about a family that didn't age, the stranger's grandmother included a detail about a music box that the family had.  His grandmother clearly remember the tune that the music box played, and she taught the tune to the man in the yellow suit. 

"My mother was able to remember the melody, finally. She taught it to me."

That was twenty years earlier.  By the stranger's own admission, he tried to forget all about the stories of the strange immortal family.  He tried in vain though, because the man in the yellow suit said the story and the music tune haunted his dreams.  After twenty years, he decided to try and back trace the route that the family likely would have taken.

So a few months ago I left my home and I started out to look for them, following the route they were said to have taken when they left their farm. No one I asked along the way knew anything. No one had heard of them, no one recognized their name.

The above quote makes is clear that the man in the yellow suit is stumbling along an unknown trail in order to find clues.  He asks everybody along the route about the family.  The Foster family happens to be along the route, so he approaches the house in order to seek out more clues about the immortal family and the music box.  The Fosters seem like a good family to pick, because they have lived in Treegap many years.   

The man lifted his eyebrows. "Oh," he said, "I'm looking for someone. A family. . . This young lady tells me you've lived here for a long time, so I thought you would probably know everyone who comes and goes."

That is the first time that the man comes to the Foster home.  The next time that he comes is because he wants to trade his knowledge of where Winnie is for the ownership of the woods.  

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