As the examine text implies, players cannot cast alchemy spells on him. If a player attempts to do so, the chatbox will state (You sense the Wise Old Man's disapproval.)
The coffin has a "Talk-to" option, where the player says "Hey, Wise Old Man..." and is given five dialogue options. However, as he is "dead", he will not respond at all.
- Are you actually alive?
- Can you check my bank for junk?
- Tell me some of your wisdom!
- Can I have all your money?
- Rest in peace.