Should I seek out the information that could help explain why he didn't want to work with me 10 years ago?
Oh hell no. No. NO.
Even if your field is small, surely this guy has a competitor who would be happy to have you if you are a productive scholar. Hell, if you are really productive, this guy might be happy to have you even if he doesn't like you.
Relatedly, I have a strong personality, but I have plenty of friends and colleagues. I occasionally run into some people who really will never like me. I can't change that and I am always civil with such people, but it is about them, not me, and I can't change them. If no one will work with you, you have a problem, but don't waste energy on people who for whatever reason don't like you.