Villages and noblemen
Q: Did the typical nobleman's wife sally forth to visit the poor and sick in the villages?
The situation of the Slovak (and the Kingdom of Hungary's) farmers differed from our image of an English manor or serfdom in Russia. The Slovak farmers owned their farms, cattle, and fields and tended to them for much of the week. Some also lived in villages with a degree of self-government. The Slovak or other ethnic nobleman was not able to dispossess a familiy under his control of its own farm, as we might imagine under the impression of British history (clearances). The noblemen did not own the Slovak and other ethnic farmers' real estate.
In a nutshell, the noblemen and their relationships with the villages varied a lot. There were not only the ultrarich. There was a whole gamut of them – from the very wealthy noblemen-landowners down to some zemans with few subjects under their control (other zemans owned only their own farm, or were professionals). Some noblemen controlled a tiny village of farm owners, some did two, some had swaths of the Kingdom under their control.
As to the ultrarich, there were fewer than 200 of them in the Kingdom by the 18th century, largely Germanized or on the way to be, and about half of them lived permanently outside of the Kingdom – in Vienna, the Habsburg Monarchy's vibrant capital. A few had probably never even been to the Kingdom, some others traveled there only when they absolutely had to.
The historical relationship between the Kingdom's noblemen and farmers outlined here was abolished in 1781. It took the ruling Habsburgs several more decades to downgrade and cancel the noblemen's other privileges, e.g., their exemption from taxation.
Some of the lower noblemen, zemans, were farmers no richer, and sometimes poorer, than others, but their status was different. A nobleman was outside any other nobleman's power, did not even fall under the county's jurisdiction (each county had its own). Only the king was his master. Also, the noblemen, including the zemans, paid no taxes and were automatically members of the Kingdom's "parliament" (the Diet) – not that many of them had the time and money to dillydally there much during its occasional sessions. Noblemen farmers predominated in some villages especially in North-Central Slovakia.
Small noblemen landowners
The small noblemen-landowners had a lot of contact with the villagers, the larger ones who lived locally less so, because much of that was typically handled by their "managers."
With great simplification again – it varied over time and from place to place – there were two kinds of villages: A) "direct-managed" villages; and B) "contractual" villages (see the sidebars for details). Much of the existence of the Kingdom was marked by continual efforts by the noblemen to limit those contracts and by the villagers' perennial fight to get the noblemen to adhere to them. It was draining by today's standards, but to a significant degree, it was not the stupefying incapacitation of serfdom that feudalism produced in some countries.
So... a common picture was not a village centered on the lord and lady of the manor, but rather a village living its own farming life, often as not with its own council and mayor, and engaged in constant squabbles with the distant nobleman.