The man is trying to survive the harsh cold conditions of the Yukon Territory in Alaska. He is attempting to make it to camp to meet up with some fellow travelers. He is only accompanied by a dog in the harsh land.
The conditions that he is traveling in are very harsh and dangerous. The temperature is 75 degrees below zero making it very dangerous to travel in. He was advised to travel with someone, but did not listen to their advice.
The man and the dog are both grateful for the warm fire. The man is eating his lunch, thinking about how quickly his fingers had gotten numb from the cold. The dog is happily laying and resting by the fire.
As the man was trying to warm up after his feet after he fell in water