Mrs. Walker is a miserly woman always battling with her husband.
Mrs. Walker does not have a good relationship with her husband. She hides things from him and fights with him.
He had a wife as miserly as himself; they were so miserly that they even conspired to cheat each other. Whatever the woman could lay hands on she hid away …
In many ways, Walker’s wife is described as just as bad as he is. She was “fierce of temper, loud of tongue, and strong of arm.” Basically, she was a nagging and possibly abusive wife. Tom could not wait to get away from her. It is even suggested that he could easily deal with the devil after having put up with her.
Walker does not normally confide in his wife, but it is not every day that a man gets a chance to make a deal with the devil. He tells her, and she encourages him to take the chance.
All her avarice was awakened at the mention of hidden gold, and she urged her husband to comply with the black man's terms, and secure what would make them wealthy for life.
Tom does not want to make a deal with the devil because it is her idea. This does not stop her. It is even suggested that she tried to make the deal first, before he could, and that is why she disappeared. Of course, with her out the way he makes the deal. He didn't want to share the gold with her, but as long as she was out of the picture that was fine.
To have a wife so bad that the devil is an improvement would be a difficult thing for any man. Tom is no pillar of virtue, but the implication is that she drove him to it. He was tired of her miserly ways, and wanted something for himself.