CC Madhya 18.108
sthāṇu-puruṣe yaiche viparīta-jñāne
“But where they are seeing Kṛṣṇa is their mistake. It is like considering a dry tree to be a person.”
The word sthāṇu means “a dry tree without leaves.” From a distance one may mistake such a tree for a person. This is called sthāṇu-puruṣa. Although Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was living in Vṛndāvana, the inhabitants considered Him an ordinary human being, and they mistook the fisherman to be Kṛṣṇa. Every human being is prone to make such mistakes. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was mistaken for an ordinary sannyāsī, the fisherman was mistaken for Kṛṣṇa, and the torchlight was mistaken for bright jewels on Kālīya’s hoods.