Of course, his plight is a tragic one. Studying this site constructed by National Geographic which gives lots of information and illustrations concerning the construction and the history of the distribution of power and water underground, it is not surprising that things don't turn out well for the underground man. Along with the wires and the pipes, he is part of the underbelly of the city. This is a great website providing a lot of information and illustration of how the underground of New York is currently constructed. A good thing to know should the need arise.
New York Underground, the page is called and sponsored by National Geographic at http://www.nationalgeographic.com/features/97/nyunderground/docs/nymain.html.