The Devil and Tom Walker | Study Guide

Washington Irving

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The Devil and Tom Walker | Characters

Character Description
Tom Walker Tom Walker is the protagonist of the story. He is a poor, avaricious man who exchanges his soul for the use of the devil's pirate treasure to make himself rich. Read More
The devil The devil is a fallen angel who rules over the realm of sinners after death. Also called Old Scratch and other names, he harvests the souls of sinners and tempts greedy men and women into sinful dealings. Read More
Tom's wife Tom's wife is a greedy woman who tries to make a deal with the devil and disappears. Read More
Kidd the pirate Kidd the pirate buried a rich treasure in Massachusetts and then was hanged for piracy. His character is based on the historical Captain William Kidd (1645–1701), a pirate whose treasure from a richly laden Armenian ship was never found.
Duncan Peabody Duncan Peabody is a wealthy Massachusetts landowner whose property includes the swamp and old fort where Tom Walker meets the devil.
Absalom Crowninshield Absalom Crowninshield is a rich pirate whose tree was recently cut down by the devil, marking the man's death.
Governor Belcher Governor Belcher is governor of New Hampshire and Massachusetts. His character is based on the historical Jonathan Belcher (1681/82–1757) who was appointed by the English crown to be governor of the colonies of New Hampshire and Massachusetts from 1730–41.
The land-jobber The land-jobber is one of the many people unable to repay the loans that Tom Walker extends. The land-jobber asks for mercy, and Tom Walker loses his patience with him.
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