I could guess, but I'd need to see the context of this quote to be sure of it's meaning.
Here are the words before the quote:
José walked away from Arnie's jabbering. He walked away, and realized that there were people like his cousin, the liar, and people like himself, someone he was getting to know. He walked away and in the midmorning heat boosted himself a telephone pole.
José's father works on telephone poles.
This sounds like the ending of a story. Is it possible that he sees himself also working on telephone poles for the rest of his life? His future is tied up in civilization and the need to work on telephone poles.
To make this clearer, here are more words before the other words:
A fire truck pulled into the driveway and soon they were surrounded by firemen, one of whom brought out a first-aid kit. A fireman led José away and asked what had happened. He was starting to explain when his cousin reappeared, yapping like a poodle.
"I was scrubbing the pool," Arnie shouted, "and I said, 'Mr. Clemens, you shouldn't stand so close to the edge.' But did he listen? No, he leaned over and. . .Well, you can just imagine my horror."
José had cleaned Mr. Clemens's pool, and Arnie watched. Then Mr. Clemens leaned over and fell in.
In the beginning of the story, José had asked his father, "What do you see up there?" His father replied, "I see years of work, mi'jo."