This guy is the ferryman who brings Davie from Torosay (on Mull) to Kinlochaline (on the Scottish mainland) in Chapter 16. His function in the story is to tell Davie where to go next to find Alan. He's also interesting because he provides a not-in-Kansas-anymore moment for Davie when he tells Davie that he should not "offer [his] dirty money to a Hieland shentleman" (16.12). Neil is offended because he thinks Davie is trying to bribe him into revealing Alan's location for evil purposes. (Until he finds out who Davie is.) But he's also put off because Davie's a Lowlander. These three encounters – with the guide, Duncan Mackeigh, and Neil Roy – all demonstrate that this isn't the Scotland Davie knows. The Highlands may as well be a foreign country, and Davie has to learn their customs to get around successfully.