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When he says a person is rich based on “the number of things which he can afford to let alone”, Thoreau means that wealth encompasses having enough resources and a lack of desires to allow focusing only on what’s most meaningful or important, without feeling compelled to constantly seek more money, status or consumption.
The quote conveys Thoreau’s view that being able to detach from superficial wants and distractions is itself a form of prosperity, as it provides freedom and leisure to fully engage in life’s deeper rewards. Overall, he sees wealth as including an ability to live simply without feeling defined or constrained by desire for excess wealth, goods or experiences.