In Greek mythology after a person
dies, Hermes brings their soul to Charon, the Ferryman of Hades. There the soul generally had two options: to pay a coin for a passage through rivers of Styx and/or Acheron, or wander through the shores for a hundred years. Latter is often the result of not receiving proper burial.
He is the son of Erebus (Darkness) and Nyx (Night). There are many depictions of Charon, ranging from filthy old man in tattered rags to winged demon with eyes of fire to Grim Reaper-like skeleton in dark cowl. He guides his boat with a long, hook-nosed pole.
He has angry demeanor and won't tolerate hesitating to step onboard. He is not afraid to use his pole as a blunt implement to reprimand those who stall his boat, or to discourage people attempting to get to underworld without paying. Heracles was one such person, but he took the boatman's pole from him and forced Charon to offer him a ride.