Paulson is a rancher from the "Wild West" period of American history. He was abducted by aliens during one of their previous visits to Earth, and has been kept in suspended animation for hundreds of years. He's quiet, soft-spoken, and appears generally unfazed by his current situation. He offers little background information about himself, but it's clear that he has a deep hatred of the aliens for removing him from his family and his life. As he puts it, all he now wants is to "seek a lamentable but satisfying revenge on every last one of those bastards." As such, after being thawed from stasis, he can be observed coldly killing a surrendering alien worker.
Following the events of Mothership Zeta, Paulson leaves the ship to wander the wastes. He will not become an active non-player character in the Capital Wasteland and does not appear again without the use of console commands.
Paulson's outfit can be reverse pick-pocketed, but his revolver can only be obtained if he is killed, mainly due to the fact that he uses a different version of it, than the one obtained off his dead body; this way, it is impossible to get his version of the gun, other than by utilizing console commands.
Killing Paulson will not result any gain or loss of Karma and attacking him will not provoke other non-player characters, instead they will come to the Lone Wanderer's aid or simply stand around doing nothing.
If the player takes Paulson into the cargo hold with them, when they come upon three Nuka-Cola trucks on a shelf, he says "Nuka-what?", referring to his life on earth being a long time before Nuka-Cola was invented.
If the Lone Wanderer enters the cargo hold without Paulson and returns to the engineering area, a captured alien worker can be seen surrounded by the survivors. They discuss on what to do with it and how can they communicate with it. Paulson is indifferent as he promptly kills it, simply remarking "it's no longer an issue now".
In front of an advertisement for Giddyup Buttercup Paulson may comment on finding the phrase "giddyup buttercup!" to be "catchy".
If Paulson sees the room with the life-size Giddyup Buttercup with the dead wastelanders lying around it, he remarks that his horse had never done something like that.