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David Lynch has never said.
He could be Henry Spencer's puppet master: the man controlling Henry's fate. He may personify the fear in Henry's mind: the disfigured Man can be linked to the deformed baby, both things being pieces of Henry. He could be a god: the first scene shows Henry confessing a sin and getting forgiven. Edit
David Lynch has said he has yet to read an interpretation of the film that is the same as his own. He has described Eraserhead as a "dream of dark and troubling things." Lynch is always reluctant to give his own interpretation of his films, and wants the audience to interpret them alone, without his influence.
It should be noted that it is sometimes mistakenly believed that Lynch's wife was pregnant with their first child when he started making the film. In actuality his daughter was three in 1971, when Lynch started preparing for the film, and eight by the time it was finished. Edit
David Lynch uses the howling wind sound effect from Ed Wood's movie (1953) in a couple of scenes. Glen or Glenda is one of Lynch's favorite films; and the Man in the Planet is inspired by its Bela Lugosi character. One parallel, perhaps accidental: In Glen or Glenda, Lugosi says "Pull the string!" In Eraserhead, at a similar point in the running time, the Man in the Planet is pulling levers. Edit