Let us remember that similes are a form of a figurative device that compares one object or character to something that we would not normally associate it with using the words "like" or "as." Consider, for example, how the sounds emerging from Ichabod Crane's schoolhouse are described:
From hence the low murmur of his pupils' voices, conning over their lessons, might be heard in a drowsy summer's day, like the hum of a bee-hive...
Note how the simile is used to compare the sounds of the students to the sounds of bees in their beehive.
You also might like to consider how Karina Van Tassel is introduced and described when we first meet her in this excellent short story. She is said to be "plump as a partridge; ripe and melting and rosy-cheeked as one of her father's peaches..." Clearly, both of these similes serve to convey her delectable nature and how she would have presented herself as a tempting morsel to the eyes of Ichabod Crane. The use of similes in this instance is therefore used to help explore how Katrina would have attracted the famished Ichabod Crane through her resemblance to rich food.