The man believes he is better than average and believing that it is him all by himself exemplifies his arrogance. The fire fails and the man is once again wet in negative fifty below weather and to survive he must do something to stay warm, his idea is rather horrid though. To save himself and his fingers the man has the wild idea to kill the dog and bury his hands in the warm body until numbness [goes] out of them (pg, 530). When the man has to choose between his life and another he chooses to save himself essentially proving that he is not a hero, but rather a scoundrel.
After all else the man merely surrenders his life, gives up, and decides to die in the least painful way possible. The man thinks it would be a good idea to sleep to death his intention is for it to be like taking an anesthetic (pg 533). Heros do not give up or take the easy way out; the man is a coward for just handing in his life in the manner in which he did. The man in Jack Londons story never reaches a heroic state; he is a normal man that makes a few mistakes and pays dearly for them.