How does Tom react to the devil and his offerThe reaction that Tom Gives

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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During the first meeting between Tom and Old Scratch, in Washington Irving's short story "The Devil and Tom Walker, the exact conditions of the arrangement between Tom and the Devil are not given. Tom leaves the Devil to contemplate the offer.

What these conditions were, may easily be surmised, though Tom never disclosed them publicly. They must have been very hard, for he required time to think of them, and he was not a man to stick at trifles where money was in view.

Given his wife was, if not more than Tom, avarice (greedy), she demanded Tom make the compact with the Devil. Refusing, given his wife would take everything, Tom decided not to go. Not swayed, Tom's wife decided she would go to make the compact with the Devil. His wife never returned.

Later, Tom decides to revisit the Devil to make the compact. Initially, the Devil wishes Tom to become a slave dealer. Tom refused to do this.

This, however, Tom resolutely refused; he was bad enough in all conscience; but the devil himself could not tempt him to turn slave dealer.

The Devil, in hopes to gain another soul, changes his offer. Instead of a slave trader, the Devil wants Tom to become a usurer (a money lender who charges an exuberant amount of interest). To this, Tom has no qualms. 

Tom agrees immediately to becoming a usurer, even stating that he will open a lending house the following day.

In the end, while Tom refuses the Devil's initial compact, Tom openly accepts the position of being a usurer.

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