The Devil and Tom Walker Questions and Answers
by Washington Irving

The Devil and Tom Walker book cover
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In "The Devil and Tom Walker," how does Tom know the man he meets in the forest is the devil?

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Tom Walker recognizes this man as the devil because the man makes a number of allusions which Tom understands. The man says that in some countries, he is known as a "wild huntsman" or a "black miner," for example, and that "red men" make human sacrifices in his honor. Moreover, he also claims to be present at the "persecutions of Quakers and Anabaptists," as well as being a "patron" of people who procure and sell slaves and the "grand master" of the witches in Salem.

When the devil tells Tom of these various identities, Tom instantly recognizes his true identity. Tom, therefore, is familiar with both historical and contemporary folklore , enough to understand that...

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