He was once a scout who fought in the Great War, and claims he was on the battlefield when the Aldmeri Dominion attacked Anvil. During that battle, he was injured, losing his eye, and left by his comrades for dead. Due to his injury, he could no longer make a living and now lives destitute in Solitude.
He possesses extensive knowledge of the wilderness and is willing to share what he knows with the Dragonborn if his prized helmet he lost can be recovered.
If the Dragonborn drops armor in front of him, he will politely point out that it has been dropped and ask if it's wanted any longer. If the Dragonborn says no, he will ask if he can have it. If the Dragonborn says yes, he will then say, "no one will hurt me anymore" and pick it up.
He is the Empire's equivalent of Angrenor Once-Honored. Both fought in the Great War, both lost their careers to an injury and both now live in either the Stormcloak or Imperial capital of Skyrim as beggars.
After completing the quest to retrieve his helmet he's never seen wearing it. It can be found on display in the Winking Skeever.