When he realized you were shopping money in anticipation of selling your baler and you weren't wanting to sink that into it he simply tried to squeeze you for money. He had nothing to lose at that point.
Maybe you should start a side biz working on such things.
I've travelled all over the local counties to give bids on work and have never been offered a fee or even a baloney sammich. When I got busy I would say up front I charge the same to come give an estimate as I charge to run my equipment, but if you hire me I deduct from the total. Whoever didn't ok that turned out to be the