Oblonsky is cheerful after the sale of his wood, but Levin is even more out of sorts: he has become extremely agitated by the news that Kitty is not married.
Levin’s agitation over Kitty combined with his frustration that the dealer has swindled Oblonsky make him irritable.
Even though Oblonsky recognizes that he might have gotten a bad deal on his land, he doesn’t care, because that’s the way of the world: noblemen spend money somewhat carelessly. Levin, however, is irritated. He thinks that it’s all right for noblemen to spend lots of money and for peasants to work their way up, but he hates the idea that noblemen get swindled through their own ignorance.
Oblonsky doesn’t seem to concern himself with social commentary, but Levin is deeply concerned about the interaction between nobles and peasants. Oblonsky is bemused by the quaint country ways, whereas Levin can see that the country people are not simply the amusing, childlike folk that Oblonsky thinks they are.
Levin asks Oblonsky about Vronsky. Oblonsky says that Vronsky is the perfect aristocrat, and Levin disagrees, saying that Vronsky’s family is wily and hedonistic. Oblonsky remains in a good mood, however, and enjoys Levin’s animation.
Levin doesn’t believe in the Vronsky nouveau riche model of aristocracy; instead, he is conservative: he wants the aristocrats to come from noble families. Levin also is so worked up because he is angry at the way Vronsky treated Kitty.