Oh, I understood perfectly well what the game wanted me to do. But Spade-style players like to nose around the edges and see what the game lets you do. And whether the designers anticipated that.
In World of Warcraft, a long while before certain expansions, there was a place atop Ironforge that only a few players ever got to see. You had to do a weird combination of jumping and sprinting and knowing (or guessing) precisely where to aim in order to make it up there. But there was content there, for those of us who managed it. Similarly, in one game (I forget which, maybe a GTA?), there's an area you can only get to by something like a game-breaking bug, and there's like graffiti on the wall (I haven't played the game in question) saying something like "Hey, you're not supposed to be up here!"
A smaller game designer can't be expected to account for all the ways a player might try to play the game (heck, even the big game designers can't account for everything), but they can still work out flow charts for areas and figure out where adventurous players might try to go. Heart-type players might try to interact with the characters (and get disappointed if the NPCs are too simplistic). Diamond-type players might try to see if there are goodies to collect. Club-type players like to assert dominance over the enemies and the game itself. And Spade-type players like to explore (and break the game scripts by doing what the game doesn't expect).
Consider if, in the midst of that storm, there were just a couple characters out there -- not like the guards, not blocking the path (a mechanical detail), but out there to give a little color to the landscape for those players who didn't follow the game's directions to go straight to the inn. Maybe the lighthouse keeper is checking the integrity of the lighthouse. Maybe a farmer is checking to make sure that his animals are all right. Maybe a mom is out hunting for her storm-enjoying kid. A little something, maybe something that most players wouldn't see, but players who ran around the town a bit during the storm would run into these characters. It'd give a little color to the people in the town (Heart), show that the designer was thinking about more than just the linear story (Spade), and maybe it could give a small goodie to the player (Diamond) that doesn't impact the game much in the long term, but might be a useful boost in the short term (e.g. 20 gold coins for helping the lighthouse keeper gather wood to fix up his windows). Throw in a little challenge (like tracking down a couple of animals) and you might even make the Clubs happy, if they happened to hunt around in defiance of the game's logic.
If it's a character you meet later, then when you run into them "for the first time" (as the game expects), the game could remember your interaction the night before and greet you in a different way.
But if there's literally nothing to find out by venturing through the storm, then physically prevent that from happening. Make the inn be next to the entrance to the town, and have a guard not allow strangers in during the night, or have the gate be locked and not guarded due to the storm. Or maybe the storm's knocked over a big tree that blocks the path to the rest of the town, and they won't be able to clear it until the storm clears. Maybe the storm flooded a river and it's flowed over the field that separates the inn area from most of the town, so you can only really explore a tiny part of the town during the storm -- and maybe use that corner-of-map preview to let the player get a peek at upcoming areas, without being able to walk around in them just yet. Maybe you see the graveyard from the edge of the screen (behind the trees and rocks that block the path), so you'll know it's a point of interest for later. Maybe if you nose behind some bushes to the side of the inn, you see a short interaction between two characters that starts a little mystery about what's going on in town, or that makes it suspicious when that character seems super nice the next morning (not having seen you spying on them).
You don't want it to be as obvious (and boring) as No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom (see TV Tropes), but by artistically cutting down on where the player can go (at any given point), you can improve the player's experience and cut down on frustration (one type of frustration being "I'm not sure I checked all the nooks and crannies"). And if you allow a small amount of exploring while the game's waiting for the player to hit the next section, you can make simple yet interesting choices about what the player finds if they actually do start exploring, and you can expect the explorative characters to find the things you set up (as opposed to wandering around a giant town during a storm and then getting bored and wandering back to the inn without having found the one section where you hid something neat).