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Theory:

     Just at sundown, when his day’s work was ended, he took a quantity of unwhitened rice which was the principal food for the poor, and he cooked, dried it, and tied it in a square cloth, which he swung in a bundle around his neck along with a gourd filled with cool, sweet water.
Explanation:
 
Under the compulsion of the king's order, the poor farmer opted to abandon his beloved mother on a mountain. He chose to abandon her somewhere since he did not want her mother to die in an awful way.
 
Farmers used to pay taxes in the form of rice on those days. Despite the fact that half of the population ate white rice, unwhitened rice was left as a source of food for farmers, particularly the poor. So, after completing the day's work, the poor farmer cooked a large quantity of unwhitened rice, which was the poor people's main food, and wrapped it in a square cloth. He then swung the cloth and a gourd filled with cool, sweet water around his neck in a bundle.
 
Generally, storing water or food in gourds is an ancient habit. The farmer's use of cloth and gourds also implies a lack of utensils at home, indicating their poor condition.
 
Meaning of difficult words:
  
S. No.
Words
Meaning
1.
Principal Refers to something important
Reference:
State Council of Educational Research and Training (2018). English Standard-10. The Aged Mother - Matsuo Basho (pp. 120-122). Published by the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation.