If POE seems like overkill, take a look at IO::Lambda. It's a bit weird, but it should be able to make the thing you need without having to fork for each connection.
in reply to Re^4: Help finding relevant modules to write a port forwarder from pool
in thread Help finding relevant modules to write a port forwarder from pool
-- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker
The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119.