The Defaulter would make answer, 'Ah, Mr. Pancks. If I was the rich gentleman whose name is in everybody's mouth--if my name was Merdle, sir--I'd soon pay up, and be glad to do it. [...] If I was Mr. Merdle, sir, you wouldn't have cause to complain of me then. No, believe me!' the Defaulter would proceed with a shake of the head. 'I'd pay up so quick then, Mr. Pancks, that you shouldn't have to ask me.'
[...] Mr. Pancks would be now reduced to saying as he booked the case, 'Well! You'll have the broker in, and be turned out; that's what'll happen to you. It's no use talking to me about Mr. Merdle. You are not Mr. Merdle, any more than I am.'
'No, sir,' the Defaulter would reply. 'I only wish you were him, sir.'
The response would take this up quickly; replying with great feeling, 'Only wish you were him, sir.'
'You'd be easier with us if you were Mr. Merdle, sir,' the Defaulter would go on with rising spirits, 'and it would be better for all parties. Better for our sakes, and better for yours, too. You wouldn't have to worry no one, then, sir. You wouldn't have to worry us, and you wouldn't have to worry yourself. You'd be easier in your own mind, sir, and you'd leave others easier, too, you would, if you were Mr. Merdle.'
Mr. Pancks, in whom these impersonal compliments produced an irresistible sheepishness, never rallied after such a charge. He could only bite his nails and puff away to the next Defaulter. The responsive Bleeding Hearts would then gather round the Defaulter whom he had just abandoned, and the most extravagant rumours would circulate among them, to their great comfort, touching the amount of Mr. Merdle's ready money. (2.13.4-18)
Now the name Merdle is almost like a magic spell, as the tenants invoke him to get Pancks off their backs. It's interesting that at first the wish is that the tenant were Merdle (then it would be nothing to pay the rent) but that quickly transforms into wishing Pancks were Merdle (then he would presumably be a lot nicer and more relaxed). This is funny, of course, because Merdle himself is one of the least happy and relaxed people in the novel.