This panel has often been interpreted as a depiction of the prodigal son, a tavern scene or even a brothel scene. The impudent behaviour of the young man in the foreground, the birdcage on the ceiling and the various victuals plainly indicate lust. The old man asleep in the background symbolises another vice, sloth. The work can be seen as an allegory of imprudence. The wanton young man risks being burnt on the fire of his passion. The sleeper risks being burnt by the fire in the hearth.