An alternative might be to try to use the code of one of the Excel modules and to read directly from the spreadsheet. Some of them at least seem to be pure Perl, so that incorporating their code into your program or installing manually the *.pm into your default directory might be easier. I did it once about 3 years ago in an environment where I could not install the module with the standard procedures, it took me a couple of hours to resolve the various dependencies, but it worked. BTW, it was in a AIX environment, so not the easiest to use Excel file (OLE not available, etc.).
But is also depends on which version of Excel we are talking about.