Edward was a hermit and wouldn't dare come into the town until he was shown genuine love by someone who took him in and treated him as her own son. There was no evil at all in him, even though by the looks of him you'd assume him to be a psychopath/serial killer, while paradoxically the town was painted a rainbow of pastel hues symbolizing happiness and goodness, when all that it harbored was inebriated, lustful, and evil people. The townspeople couldn't handle someone as good and innocent as Edward, they immediately started to try and bring him down to their level.
Sometimes we mistake the innocent or naive as a lower standard or less intelligent than the experienced. While to some extent the innocent doesn't know as much as the experienced, if the experienced has learned the difference between good and evil and the importance of accepting the good, but chooses to follow evil anyways, their knowledge is for naught. The ill-experienced recogonize their state of sinfulness and can't stand being around others that are "better" than them (even if naive), they try to bring them down. This is why it is so important for parents to prepare their kids to face the battles of evil they encounter as soon as they start experiencing the world.
Another illustration of the town's contempt for innocence was to use Edward as a scapegoat. He soon became the reason why the whole town was corrupt, and they really believed it. We need to focus on ourselves and, as the Savior's apostles, ask "Is it I?"