David Browne: (on his influence on Opie) Who's to say that the boy would be happier your way or mine? Why not let him decide?
Andy: No, I'm afraid it don't work that way. You can't let a young 'un decide for himself. He'll grab at the first flashy thing with shiny ribbons on it. Then when he finds out there's a hook in it, it's too late. Wrong ideas come packaged with so much glitter, it's hard to convince him that other things might be better in the long run. All a parent can do is say, "Wait. Trust me," and try to keep temptation away.
Buddy Ebsen appeared on The Andy Griffith Show less than a month after the release of Breakfast at Tiffany's - a movie in which he had a small but important role that revived his waning career and lead to his being cast as Jed Clampett in The Beverly Hillbillies. His appearance aired only a week before Crime-Free Mayberry - the episode his future boss, Paul Henning, penned for the show.
David Browne is a classic American archetype - the hobo. Although the hobo "lifestyle" saw its peak during the Great Depression, there were still a large number of these vagabond travelers around in the early 1960's. However, due in large part to the implementation of the welfare system in the mid 1960's and tougher local vagrancy laws, the hobo seemingly vanished from the American landscape by the end of the 60's.
Andy's attitude toward David Browne, general acceptance without actual approval, was fairly common. Although most folks saw petty theft and vagrancy as crimes, hobo's were often tolerated due to the fact that many were simply down on their luck. What makes David Browne interesting is that he clearly chooses the life he lives. He appears to have both the intelligence and the ability to lead a "normal" life, but instead chooses to live the nomadic life - with all of its illusory freedoms.