If you need to understand Walden to teach it, to write an essay about it, or to achieve a personal goal or value, you should study Walden: A Fluid Text Edition. It shows all the editions and editorial changes Walden went through from initial notes to final published draft. The Website says:
In the 1960s, Ronald E. Clapper, then a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California Los Angeles, set out to provide a complete account of Thoreau’s revisions to the manuscript across these drafts. His dissertation, “The Development of Walden: A Genetic Text” (1967), was an attempt to offer readers something like a “true” Walden.From https://digitalthoreau.org/fluid-text-toc/
Walden: A Fluid-Text Edition makes Clapper’s scholarship available, for the first time, to anyone with an internet connection and a web browser. It also recasts that scholarship in a more accessible form. “A better way of arranging the text might be to print the various versions in parallel columns if it were not for the great length of the manuscript,” Clapper wrote in 1967 (4). In the present edition, a user can open from one to seven draft versions of the transcribed manuscript in independently scrollable columns and compare any of these to the published Walden as edited by J. Lyndon Shanley for The Writings of Henry D. Thoreau. The insertions, cancellations, and explanatory materials originally detailed by Clapper in footnotes are rendered inline by the software chosen for display, the open-source Versioning Machine. The underlying TEI files may be downloaded for analysis or for transformation by alternative versioning software, such as Juxta. A data dictionary is provided to help users understand the methods used to encode Thoreau’s revisions.