By using the figure of Father Theodore as the priest using a death-bed confession about hidden jewels as a chance to become rich there is a gentle contempt. The priest is happy to walk out on his flock and share his secrets of a candle factory and wealth with his wife.
It chimes in with the communist view that the church is an organisation with plenty of hypocrisy and with its fair share of wealth loving staff. But Theodore is perhaps more honest than the others making no secret of his determination to gain wealth and change his circumstances.
Meanwhile the pair are working their way through various chairs and are now at a stage where they have managed to get close to buying all remaining 10 chairs at a state auction. But the relationship between Ippolit and Bender changes when the former blows his money on wine, food and a woman.
From that point on, with the chairs lost at the auction to various buyers, the younger man takes control and Ippolit is losing his grip on the jewels.