He was a gentleman from sole to crown”, and which implies that he is of much higher socio-economic class vs… The use of the word crown” gives the reader a picture of someone noble and regal.
A second reading of the poem identifies the line about wishing "we" were in Richard Cory's place as a form of ironic foreshadowing, but it cannot be seen the first time through the poem.
The statement that the "people on the pavement looked at him" is an understatement.
The reader now has a picture in their mind oaf man who could easily be a king.
Robinson takes that image and carries it into the next stanza by saying he is richer than a king.
The word "people" can refer to a group of individuals, or it can refer to a collective people such as the ones described by the narrator's "we".
The description of Richard Cory as "richer than a king" may be hyperbole, because although the man is wealthy the narrator does not know his net worth.
The major conflict in this piece is between a wealthy man and the townspeople who are so put off and distracted by his external mannerisms and appearance that they never get to know the real person.
They resent and envy him for his affluence, but they do not actually know the man they envy.
Certainly in modern times it is common for industrialists, real estate magnates, authors, and patent or copyright holders to become richer than many hereditary heads of state.
The poem “Richard Cord’ by Edwin Arlington Robinson is about the tragic death of a wealthy Dollied man.