Watched the episode again.
I think the motel is the White Lodge equivalent of the convenience store. The architecture in the room holding Phillip Jeffries looks similar to the architecture of the building on the purple ocean that Dale landed on after falling through limbo. And the device holding Jeffries’ spirit is of course basically the same as those huge black radio things we’ve seen previously: the Fireman’s beacon in the White Lodge itself and the beacon on top of Naido’s house.
This would suggest that one duty of the Woodsmen is to facilitate meetings between Lodge entities. The convenience store and the motel are safe grounds (for spirits, at least–Major Briggs wasn’t so lucky), whereas the Lodges themselves are more treacherous. The Fireman can evidently walk between them but he might be the only one with this power.
Also, those images of the forest we kept seeing as the Bad Dale walked through the convenience store–I think that was suggesting that once he entered the room above the convenience store, he entered the mystical energy contained within the woods themselves. This might be what the ringing in the Great Northern’s about–something to do with the Lodges rather than the dead souls absorbed by the Ghostwood.
Oh, and that guy walking his dog? None other than Mark Frost, reprising his role of Cyril Pons, Twin Peaks news reporter from season 2.