The mystery certainly is thickening here. Mr. Quilp, the neighbor dwarf, and the old grandfather have some secret business going on. I have a feeling that this Mr. Quilp, a grotesquely decribed man, is going to be someone to watch out for in the future (as will Fred, Nell's brother).
I'm curious to find out whether the money that Mr. Quilp gives the grandfather is ill-gotten gains. Are these two men thieves?
What really puzzles me is that the narrator is removing himself from the story. It's going to be moving from a first person narrative to all third person? How strange!