How would you explain this sentence?
The courtyard was a dream. Birds in cages, fountains, plants sprawling from their pots, vines climbing the trunks of the trees. And in that jungle, the Painter! Sprawled in a chair in the sun, wearing the wrecked clothes of a beggar and the glasses of a professor. He was smoking a cigar and reading a newspaper.
“Oh! Good morning, sir.”
“Who is it?” He barely glanced up.
“Sir, the nation rejoices in your return.”
“The nation considers me to be worth approximately two peanuts, at most.”
How would you explain the last sentence: worth two peanuts?
Does it a slang expression?