The Devil and Tom Walker

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Washington Irving (1783 – 1859) was a short story writer, essayist, biographer, historian, and diplomat of the early 19th century. ‘The Devil and Tom Walker’ is a short story which first appeared in Irving’s 1824 collection Tales of a Traveller, and shows similarities to the German legend of Faust. The narrative first recounts the legend of the pirate, William Kidd, and his buried treasure. Later, Tom Walker and his wife, a greedy and miserly couple, appear. On a walk in the swamp, Tom meets the devil and strikes a deal with him, by offering Tom the pirate’s treasure in exchange for his soul …