In Washington Irving's short story "The Devil and Tom Walker," the protagonist, Tom Walker, is described as a "meagre, miserly" fellow who conspires to cheat his wife—who is equally as meagre and miserly as he is! Together, they live in an austere home, where they regularly fight over material things.
Tom is also described as not being "troubled with any fears"; his cavalier attitude and arrogance result in him coming face to face with the devil himself, Old Scratch, who offers him great wealth in exchange for his soul.
Tom's contrary disposition causes him to decide that he won't sell his soul simply because his wife wants him to do so. Despite this, Tom winds up entering into the bargain, which further illuminates his greed, vanity, and stinginess. After setting up shop as a usurer in town, Tom gets a decked out carriage pulled by "nearly starved" horses and running on "ungreased wheels."
He eventually becomes as religiously zealous as he is rich, but even this cannot keep the devil from returning to collect what Tom owes.