Why is Willy home in Death of a Salesman in Act 1?
He was unable to sell his products, and was having trouble driving, so came home
Willy does not wish to give up on his hopes for a future and some kind of memory of himself or his existence after death. This is why he plants the seeds. He hopes that his funeral will be well attended, and that this will impress Biff. Biff sees that there are much more important qualities than popularity, which is why he will see this final act as foolish.
The quote, 'He's liked, but not well liked.' is by Arthur Miller, from his play, 'Death of a Salesman'. In Act 1, Willy Loman asks if Bernard is liked. The boys reply, 'He's liked, but not well liked.' Willy suggests that while Bernard might make good grades, others will be more successful because they are 'well liked'.