As a dowry gift, a man was given a cot, which was actually very cheap and was soon broken. To save face, the man took to sleeping on the bare ground in a pretended mood of renunciation. He also began preaching to all and everyone that a life of comfort and material opulence is illusion; everyone should give up their attachments and practice austerities, as he was doing by sleeping on the bare ground.
This story exemplifies the spirit of false renunciation that arises in the mind of a materialist when he becomes somehow frustrated in his attempt to enjoy sense objects. If it were not for the frustration, he would certainly have continued to enjoy his senses. But barring that, he tries to find satisfaction in advertising himself as a greatly renounced soul. This is just another phase of self-centered materialism. Pure devotees never advertise themselves as renunciates, even though they are perfect in renunciation. Their renunciation is done for Krsna, not for personal considerations.