Came across this synopsis for a Hesse book I haven’t read yet (‘Knulp’)-
“…(he) is an amiable vagabond who wanders from town to town, staying with friends who feed and shelter him. Consistently refusing to tie himself down to any trade, place, or person, he even deserts the companion…the summer they go tramping together. (his) exile is blissful, gentle, self-absorbed. But hidden beneath the light surface of these tales is the conscience of an artist who suspects that his liberation is worthless, even immoral. As he lies dying in a snowstorm, (he) has an interview with God in which he reproaches himself for his wasted life. But it is revealed to (him) that the whole purpose of his life has been to bring a little homesickness for freedom into the lives of ordinary men.”
Does that bring any other 20th century author to mind?