During the hunt of Book Seven, Chapter 5, Nicholas tries to hunt down a wolf. Tolstoy uses a lot of metaphorical language to convey meaning in this Chapter. He uses the Wolf as means for foreshadowing and also to allude to Nicholas' life.
Nicholas' life has recently centered around his time at war, and the hunting puts him at ease because it reminds him of it, "the cries of the dogs whose notes were familiar to him" (441). But the wolf, whom Nicholas was hunting after, symbolizes Nicholas' future, which always runs from him. The wolf "ran without hurry, evidently feeling sure that no one saw her" with "easy yet resolute hope" (442). Nicholas isn't in complete control of his life; actually, he prefers it mundane and less dramatic, which is specifically why he prefers to be at the battlefields.
Nicholas couldn't even take care of his own problems, because it was Daniel who took down the wolf but it was still "the most happiest moment of [Nicholas'] life" (443). The taking down of the wolf alludes to Nicholas' coming into power over the family's wealth. There will be a struggle over the Old Count Rostov but due to some outside help, the wealth will be under his control, but only with the "old wolf, alive, [and gaged] on a shying snorting horse" (444).