Well, Tom, he is an artist, so I'm not surprised that you find this in him, whether we call it intention or not.
The chapter reminds me just a bit of "Spoon River Anthology," also of Frost's poem "Directive," describing the former village cultures.
Interesting that he agrees that humans are capable of enhancing the beauty of the landscape, as most would agree we can do, ideally. He wonders what factors determined decisively that the former settlement would not survive, while nearby Concord would thrive. He doesn't sound much like a misanthrope here.