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I am sorry--even though this appears as one question in your book, it is clearly more than one and so I have had to edit it accordingly. It is clear that Tom and his wife are very suitable partners for each other. Note how they are introduced in the text as being similar in a number of key ways:
He had a wife as misery as himself: They were so miserly that they even conspired to cheat each other. Whatever the woman could lay hands on, she hid away; a hen could not cackle but she was on the alert to secure the new-laid egg. Her husband was continually prying about to detect her secret hoards, and many and fierce were the conflicts that took place about what ought to have been common property.
The defining characteristic of both of them seems to be their miserliness and their avaricious nature. Note the element of irony in this description - so misery are they that they even argue and fight with each other over their possessions, that ought to have been held in common.
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