Two ways of living and two ways of getting gain are presented to us in this verse. One chooses to profit from the misery of others - from catching and snaring them. The other profits because the very root of how he lives his life is productive and bears fruit. Let's take a look at these two "ways of living" and see that by embracing one we will gain much wisdom.
First we are introducted to the wicked man. He seeks to profit from his evil devices. He always has a con going - always has a plan or a scheme whereby he will get the money he wants. It is interesting the word that is used here for "booty" or "spoil." it is the Hebrew word "matsod" and it refers to a hunting implement - most often a net or a snare. Thus, the wicked man is said to desire the net or snare of evil men. He delights in and takes pleasure in what an evil man gains from an ensnared person. The wicked man sets the snare - he baits the net and waits for the unwitting fool to step into it. Once caught - that person becomes the gain for the wicked. He has nothing profitable himself to offer - just a life filled with another wicked plan or another snare laid out for the unsuspecting one who steps into it.
The righteous to the contrary, leads a life that is profitable in itself. He has a root that bears fruit of its own. He sees no need of setting traps for others - wanting to take what is not his own for his profit. He is engaged in some godly trade that meets the needs of others - rather than wicked pursuits where he is only seeking to exploit the weaknesses of others for the purpose of fleecing them. His desire is to bless and build up - and from such endeavors to produce fruit.
These two men have very different pursuits, concerns, and ends from what they seek in life. The wicked man is pursuing profiting from other's misfortunes - while the righteous man wants to bless them. The wicked man is concerned that he may be caught and exposed as he sets traps and snares. He has to use camouflage to hide the true intentions of his plans from those who see him. He is also cautious because the majority of the time his path is contrary to the laws of men. If caught he will be punished - something he definitely seeks to avoid. The righteous man does not have to worry about what he is doing. His concern is to bless others in the end. He therefore is concerned about the needs of others - what it is they truly need or want. He then gives himself to meeting those needs - and profiting from it thereby. If, in the end, they want something harmful to themselves, he will not exploit their flesh. That would not be producing fruit, but pain, suffering, and in the end, ungodliness (which will never truly bless anyone). His concern therefore is matching the will of God with the way that he plants and cultivates things in his life. This will always produce fruit that will last more than just a moment - it is the kind of fruit that lasts for eternity. The end of these two men is much different too. The wicked man is cursed by those he has trapped and netted. They hate him for what he has done. There is also no long term blessing for this man because the things he does are conrary to God's will. In the end, God will curse him and bring punishment upon him. The righteous man, though, is blessed now and for eternity. Though his work may be harder and not as instantly productive - it will last. Men will bless him and love him for what he does, and when it comes to eternity - he will receive blessing not just from men, but most importantly - from God.
Two men, two very different paths, and two eternally different ends. That is what we see in this passage. God will bless the root of the righteous by having it bear the good fruit that is seeks. But the wicked man whose life is snares and traps - will be watching behind him all throughout life - and will be paying for his wickedness because his root is dried up and dead. Just as his root - so will be his fruit.