Literally and figuratively, this story and its cold is gripping as it depicts a group of men waiting for shelter, crowded together, a mob, some pushing and shouting, others silent and being pushed. There is desperation and hope in the eyes of the men as they inch closer and closer to the entrance of this sort of inn and its fiery inner warmth.
You get the sense when the story ends that some men might be left to the night, to the storm and its wind and snow and ferocity. I was relieved actually that the story ended when it did so I didn't have to see the deterioration of those left behind, of the ones falling just steps short of a night's sleep and of sleep's salvation.
I can't help but see the bigger picture in this short story. It's Crane through and through.