Student or Learner
What is "a man of himself"? The translation goes "respectable, decent guy", but I think it just means "truly himself only", but I'm not sure.
ex)And also in a moment his heart responded thrillingly to this novel mood. An instantaneous and strong impulse moved him to battle with his desperate fate. He would pull himself out of despair; he would make a man of himself again; he would conquer the evil that had taken possession of him. There was time; he was comparatively young yet: ...
When I make a fool of myself, I act like a fool.
The man in the text you quote made a man of himself, which means that he started acting like a man, or at least like an archetypal man.