In a 1986 interview published in the out-of-print book "Programmers at Work" by Susan M. Lammers, series creator Toru Iwatami explained the kind of character he intended Pac-Man to be:

"Pac Man’s character is difficult to explain even to the Japanese–he is an innocent character. He hasn’t been educated to discern between good and evil. He acts more like a small child than a grown-up person. Think of him as a child learning in the course of his daily activities. If someone tells him guns are evil, he would be the type to rush out and eat guns. But he would most probably eat any gun, even the pistols of policemen who need them. He’s indiscriminate because he’s naive. But he learns from experience that some people, like policemen, should have pistols and that he can’t eat just any pistol in sight."
Contributed by MehDeletingLater