I think anybody who watches this and assumes it's about a selfish apprentice is missing the point here. This episode was really about tough love and hypocrisy. This is evident from the very beginning. A young hardworking apprentice dreams of better things to come but in every instant his old and rather nasty boss keeps bringing him down making it clear that his dreams will never come to: "stop dreaming and get back to work" the old mean geezer says.
Let's get to the hypocrisy part which is quite obvious if you haven't noticed. First the man has made a living of the rich making shoes!!!! Hello if the old man really wanted to instill hard work ethic values into the apprentice why would he accept this job of making this magic shoes for the rich and others? Later on in the episode the shoemaker reveals his disgust for the rich because he believes the rich don't work hard for what they got -yes he is stereotypical of a poor man jealous of successful people (yet he hypocritically accepts their money and anybody's money for these special shoes that can bring someone's dream come true). Jesus if that isn't hypocrisy I don't know what is.
The previous review stated it didn't make any sense that the apprentice would keep up showing for work knowing that the shoes were magical but this is pretty simple to figure out: The apprentice gets hard work but of course hasn't given up his dream of making in the world. I mean anybody who has really "made it" in the world has worked crappy jobs and if any of them accepted the crap the old shoemaker said that their dreams were nonsense, then none of them would have made it. It's simple people work hard but in their spare time (which the apprentice) he spend dreaming of making which he would have done had he actually gotten encouragement and love for the shoemaker. The shoemaker of course being an old miser continues to dash the apprentice's dream which of course only prompt the apprentice to use the magic shoes more and more until it kills them. You know this being "Tales from the Darkside" this wouldn't have a happy ending.
However, as I said it's a good episode of why tough love doesn't work and that people who don't encourage others to live their dream are really only hurting them and pushing them to do things they would not do knowing that their "dream" is over.