"An old man, hoary with the hair of eld"
Public DomainCharon - Credit: Gustave Doré

(Canto 3, line 83)

This old man is Charon, the ferryman who carries souls over the river into Hell. In mythology, he is the son of the dark god Erebus and Nyx, goddess of the Night. One tradition claims that he only ferries those souls who where interred after death, and charges one obol, a coin placed in the mouth of the dead, for the ride.