Since there's no other form of transportation to the Surovsky District (where his friend Sviyazhsky lives), Levin drives himself.
He stops halfway at the home of a rich peasant to feed his horses.
The old man talks easily to Levin, has a wonderfully prosperous farm, and is not at all against innovation.
The old man has carefully expanded his farm through hard work. He began by leasing land that he eventually purchased. He then used the profits from farming his first plot of land to lease a second and so on. He has been plowing his hundred acres alongside his own sons, nephews, and daughters-in-law. The farm holds together because it is the group effort of a strong family. Each member of the family does his or her own work, and are willing to try their own innovations because it's all in the name of advancing the family's profits.
The old man's household is happy and impresses Levin.