I think Joseph was involved in treasure digging, he was looking to get money from little to no work. He was looking into his stones and telling people where to find treasure, though they never found any - until he found his own. I think the hill cumorah story of Joseph obtaining the gold plates has changed over time and originally fits very close to treasure digging myths of the day. Over the decades the official church narrative has cleaned up and sanitized it - for example, in early recordings, he found the plates by looking into his seer stone (which he then used to translate the plates). The foundation stories of the church fit exactly into the folk-magic of his day.