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I fail to comprehend the part in bold. The Invisible Man, Wells:

He vanished behind a laburnum, and appeared again clambering a fence that abutted on the open down.

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"Abutted" means the following:

(of a building or an area of land) be next to or have a common boundary with

So it means the fence is next to something.

The meaning of "open down" is:

An open down would be a green hill that had no fences. Some downs have been fenced - often with low stone walls, so sheep can graze on them. (wordreference)

So it means the guy was clambering a fence that was next to a green hill.

to be adjacent; touch or join at the edge or border (often followed by "on", "upon", or "against"):

This piece of land abuts on a street. Dictionary

"down" in this sense means hill, and is unrelated to the direction "down" (it is related to words like "dune"). It is quite specific to southern England in fact. Similar hills in the North are called "wolds"/"moors". "Down" is a word like "alp", used for the hills in a particular place, and not for hills in general.
Hat tip to @James K

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    It might be worth noting that "down" in this sense, meaning hill, is unrelated to the direction "down" (it is related to words like "dune"). It is quite specific to southern England. Similar hills in the North are called "wolds". "Down" is a word like "alp", used for the hills in a particular place, and not for hills in general.
    – James K
    May 19 at 4:57
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    Hills in the Cotswolds (which are not in the North!) are also called wolds. Hills in the North (and the South-West) are also called Moors. Or Fells. Very occasionally, they are called Hills. Ignorant townsfolk might even call them Mountains. May 19 at 10:22
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    @DarrelHoffman If so that probably comes from trying to copy Epsom Downs racecourse which is where the Derby and Oaks are run and are on the North Downs in England.
    – mmmmmm
    May 19 at 15:50
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    @mmmmmm Likely enough - they do all tend to have names that are trying to sound British, e.g. aforementioned "Churchill Downs" etc. My neighborhood has a bunch of clearly anglophile and/or horse-racing themed names on everything, several of which have "Downs" in them. And this is Florida - no hills to speak of for miles. (Nor horse tracks that I know of, that's just in the names around here.) May 19 at 16:15
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    wolds are hardly northern!
    – charmer
    May 19 at 16:33

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