The old man is sitting on his bench looking out to the big inland sea Vaneren where also the molo indicates the start of the Gøta canal in the little village Sjøtorp.
From the same area including the first canal lock and the office of the Canal company - in the yellow building.
From the net:
Göta Canal This early 19th century canal connects giant Lake Vänern in the north and Lake Vättern in the south in West Sweden.
Its entire stretch includes 66 locks, rivers and lakes. There are various ways of travelling the canal; in style aboard a steamship cruiser, or under your own steam by kayak, canoe, bike, or by walking.