Jim Gilmore is the second most important character in the short story. He is key to the development of the plot, as the story revolves around Liz's obsession with him and his violent response to this obsession.
Jim's outer characterization tells us that he is a Canadian blacksmith who moved to the US and bought a blacksmith’s shop. Both his occupation and origin are important for his character. Being a blacksmith is a stereotypically manly occupation, suggesting that he represents a male stereotype - although the narrator's remark that he "did not look much like a blacksmith" (ll. 2-3) might reflect Liz's hopes that he secretly has a romantic and caring nature.
The fact that he is a Canadian makes him an outsider, a stranger. At the end, he becomes a stranger to Liz after he rapes her, showing her that her romantic assumptions about his nature were wrong.