I hope I live long enough to see something similar happen in the Washington, DC area.
I think he is simply trying to demonstrate the life of Christ with his words and deeds. By rejecting the red cap, he shows that tradition of men is not sacred. By his words about the size of the apartment, he shows that simplicity of living is a key to rejecting materialism and worldly devotion. By his refusal to stand in an exalted place, he shows that those would desire to be the greatest in the Kingdom must be the least in the Kingdom.
I am not a Roman Catholic believer, but I do think that Pope Francis understands the Way of Jesus.