Strain hardening behavior of ferrite layers in the microstructure of drawn pearlite wire is studied theoretically and numerically. It is shown that stress field associated to dislocations could diminish quickly if the dislocations enter the phase or grain boundaries and decompose into smaller segments to distribute along the boundary. Some atomistic simulations of single-phase media validate this phenomenon; dislocations show to pass, decompose or accumulate on tilt-type grain boundaries depending on their atomistic configuration. Mechanical responses of nine-layered pearlite models subjected to tensile load are analyzed by a strain gradient crystal plasticity finite element code, where possible passage or absorption of dislocations is expressed in the model of dislocation mean free path. The critical resolved shear stress for slip systems consists of the lattice friction, the Taylor and Orowan terms and the strain hardening is given by the Taylor one. The density evolution of accumulated dislocations is evaluated by the model of Kocks and Mecking where the dislocation mean free path plays a major role. Results show that the smaller the dislocation absorption ability of the phase boundary and thinner the layer thickness, larger the strain hardening becomes. Slip localization in cementite layers is shown to be suppressed when the strain hardening of ferrite layers is higher, and this trend is consistent with results obtained in previous studies by molecular dynamics simulation and classical elasto-plasticity analyses. Scale sensitive phenomena taking place at phase boundaries in layered structure are briefly discussed in views of atomistic process and continuum mechanics.