Something seems to have taken the wind out of his sails.
Fred Binder is a merchant from Varrock. He has a passion for sailing although he never actually talks about it. His love of sailing may have caused him to give out free rope to anyone he approaches. As such, if the player talks to Fred, he will give you free rope. He will not give you rope if you already have some in your inventory. When the player asks why he is giving out free rope, Fred said that if he told him/her why, he could get in a lot of trouble, referencing to the other merchants selling their goods at exorbitant prices.
His chathead looks similar to the chathead of the Pompous Merchant, since he wears glasses and has a similar hairstyle to them. Despite looking similar to one, Fred is actually nice compared to the snobbish merchants.