What I have observed is that applicants want to get their resume to the hiring manager with as few middle-men as possible. Plenty of good resumes are rejected, lost, or delayed by the middle-men. In a down market, an HR person or recruiter will get hundreds of resumes a day for a single, new job posting. At the same time, 5 or 10 resumes may come in through internal recommendations. Typically these 5 or 10 resumes will be reviewed first and the emailed resumes will only be reviewed if the internal recommendations do not pan out.
If an applicant knows someone within the company, they will often ask this person to give their resume to the hiring manager (possibly with a recommendation). Usually they will also apply through the traditional channel as well (email to HR, post to the company’s website, etc.).
In the case of the OP, it seems that the applicant did not know the firm owner at all. I suspect that he figured sending it through a non-traditional channel (and the owner no less) would increase the chances that the resume would at least be reviewed.
Personally I would try not to treat that resume differently, but I might subconsciously make it a strike against him.