This is why Tolstoy is one of the greats. Because his work reads on multiple levels, and because his characters are never caricatures just there to hold a spear or prop up some scenery.
On one level this is the story of the life and death of a not particularly likeable functionary. On another its an indictment of a particular society in a particular time, in which isolation from and indifference to others are the price of privilege and comfort and how a man loses himself in that devil's bargain. On another its a story of how we all tend to lose sight of the important things in life in the process of living it. On another it is the story of how even a not particularly likeable functionary is still a human being, with the fears and feelings and loves and losses that we all share as part of our common humanity.
So much going on in such a small space.