At the turn of the century, a young man shows up in a small, secluded village. He refuses to give his name, but Didace Beauchemin, a widowed farmer who lives with his son Amable and his daughter-in-law Alphonsine, agrees to give the stranger a place to live in exchange for various chores. His will, determination and charm win over some of the townspeople but others see his attitude and beliefs as a menace to their way of life.
The stranger begins to pay attention to Angelina Desmarais, a pretty, single woman who is ostracized because she limps. However, this irritates Odilon Provençal, who was planning to marry Angelina to acquire her property. In addition, Amable becomes jealous of the newcomer because Didace begins to treat him as if he were his own son.