It's hard to say right now since the recent "intensive"/"tunnel" negotiations being held this weekend have been conducted without the press learning much about their content. Just to give you a non-update, as of this morning:
Neither the UK or EU are offering any detail on the apparent common ground that has been found on a solution to the Irish border.
Publically at least, Johnson has maintained that he will somehow not delay beyond Oct 31, despite the Benn Act. This apparent contradiction has prompted much speculation as to what Johnson intended to do exactly to avoid asking for that (conditional) extension mandated by the Benn Act. If he does get a deal through Parliament (I think by Oct 19), he won't have to ask for an extension, even under the Benn Act.
Likewise there has been much speculation whether the EU actually believed Johnson's no-deal threat, even before the Benn Act was passed. Even some commentators on the conservative side of the political spectrum had doubts the EU really believed that Johnson intended to follow through with his no-deal threat.
On the other hand, there are those who think, or at least say, even yesterday, that Johnson's real bluff is that he is pretending to be negotiating with the EU, and that his real plan is a no-deal Brexit. So yeah, lots of diverging opinions on this.
What is more certain is that a hard-Brexit-oriented tabloid, The Express, headlined yesterday
Boris offering Northern Ireland as ‘sacrificial lamb’ as he looks set to backtrack on deal
So at least some corners of the British right believe[d] Johnson was/is their man for no deal. But they have some reservations too. And the EU negotiators are much less casual with their commentary, so it's harder to know what they think.