A tall man with a huge, misshapen belly, Hakeswill also had jaundiced skin and a scar ringing his neck. He was a psychopath, with no regard for social norms, often beating up other miners and generally aggravating Dan McGrew. He became a criminal when he cut up the face of a Malamute Saloon prostitute, in revenge for, as he stated, "[making] fun o' me Mum".
Obidiah Hakeswill is a reference to Obadiah Hakeswill, a character in Bernand Cornwell's Sharpe series. Both characters share a sociopathic demeanour, a scarred appearance, an obsession with their mothers and are convinced they cannot be killed.