Honestly, I think Thoreau is a bit crazy. He has a reputation for great works, but after finally reading one, I think Thoreau is more glorified than actually living up to his name. He walks the line of praiseworthy literature and shortcomings, blurring the line in between. This then cause many to, understandably, worship unworthy pieces with a gilded cover. Maybe it's just me, but I can't see what makes this guy so special. He also seems like a big jerk.
At one time, he meets an Irish family in a shed. He criticizes their economic situation, and eventually gives up hope on them. At least that's how it seems. It was almost hypocritical, how he spent all this time preaching hope and optimism, only to go against himself in this scene. It may have been misinterpretation, but regardless.
Also, Thoreau's craziness shows through with his constant lessons and morals he finds. The ants are a life lesson. The depth of the pond is a life lesson. The colors of the trees are a life lesson. Maybe it's a part of transcendentalism. Maybe Thoreau truly feels that way. Or maybe he's just crazy.