"The Beloved Vagabond" is a 1906 novel written by William John Locke. It is the most famous work of Locke. In nineteenth century France an architect decides to disguise himself as a tramp.
Excerpt from the book:
"It is the story of Paragot, the belovéd vagabond - please pronounce his name French-fashion - and if I obtrude myself on your notice it is because I was so much involved in the medley of farce and tragedy which made up some years of his life, that I don’t know how to tell the story otherwise. To Paragot I owe everything. He is at once my benefactor, my venerated master, my beloved friend, my creator.
Clay in his hands, he moulded me according to his caprice, and inspired me with the breath of life. My existence is drenched with the colour of Paragot. I lay claim to no personality of my own, and any obiter dicta that may fall from my pen in the course of the ensuing narrative are but reflections of Paragot's philosophy. Men have spoken evil of him. I propose to write his apologia."