Well, I am not going to try to explain it to you in detail, mostly because the details vary depending upon who is providing them. In a sense, the words are self-explanatory. What amazes me is how many of these fellows there were, and, still are, if you simply look for them. I have a cousin who is among them right now. I know of families who are not of Norwegian ancestry, but, never-the-less, who boast or tease or joke about having a Norwegian Bachelor Farmer among their numbers. The image emerges from an actual historical character evolving into folklore.
One note in background data: Germans, followed by Norwegians and then by other Scandinavians, were the primary immigrants to Minnesota during the 19th and early 20th centuries. This is when and where stories of the Norwegian Bachelor Farmer originated.
In a way, he had life good in that sense. Most Sunday and holiday dinners were consumed at the home of one of his sisters; he had his own house in the country in which to hang his hat and he lived life free as a bird -- working, hunting, fishing. He was an always-welcome guest in the homes of four sisters who lived nearby. There was no one to put the reins on him. He had no real responsibilities to anyone or to anything other than to himself and to his work -- but, he also gave as much as he received, and was there to help whenever and wherever he was needed.