Literal Meaning

A 10-foot pole is just a comically unwieldy piece of equipment. It’s like walking into a cramped underground space with a vaulting pole.

The idea of carrying a long pole into a dungeon is very much a player’s reaction to killer traps. It’s almost an arm’s race in the dungeon. The players are not challenged so the DM adds traps of high lethality. The players respond by triggering the traps from five feet away with a quarterstaff. The traps get even more deadly in response. The stick gets even longer. And so on.