I'm halfway there with TT. I believe "his bony, oblivious shoulders" represent the man himself – certainly that part of the man that the landlord can see when he's standing behind the man.
I don't think there's a suggestion of beating. The landlord is just looking for payment from anyone who might compensate him for the damage that's been done to his establishment, and this man seems the weakest of the lot. (I read a bit of the story – he's just some lecherous old goat trying to have his way with a serving girl.)