"Day had broken cold and gray, exceedingly cold and gray, when the man turned aside from the main Yukon trail and climbed the high earth bank..."
Its a man vs. nature and is more used to the lack of sun than the cold. "It had been days since he had seen the sun.."
The man knows what can inter fear with the cold, he also knows that if a bad move he can go down in through the snow. "He wet himself to the knees before he floundered out to the firm crust".
After knowing the extremes of falling into the frigid cold snow and his dog not wanting to cross which caused them to fall in, his dogs instinct made it think for them to stop but the man didnt seem bothered at all.
The man was harsh cold, therefore he would " deposit a fire to try his gear and try to warm up his feet, hands, and body" because it wouldn't be long before he succumbs to the cold.
The man whom once suffered to the cold was now in peace, not suffering anymore because he was dead.