In my dads family, seems like noone could reliably spell their surname, and for added fun, loads of the family have the same christian name as first or second name, but interchangably use that, a contraction, or the other name. Which causes fun
where are you looking for this man on the census? If you are using one website for example findmypast - then use ancestry. The reason is that both companies have sent of the census information abroad for trnscribing to different companies, so you will often find the different companies made different transcription errors and when you can't find them on one website then try another.
it took me three years to find my great grandmother as both her first name had been transcribed wrong and her surname - a person familiar with English names would have known her name - but someone from Asia wrote down what appeared to be her name so Jane had become Lane - added to a mis-transcribed surname and it took me three years, I hadn't got a choice as findmypast where the only company with the 1911 census available