What deal does Tom Walker make with the devil? 

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price7781 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Tom Walker lives an unhappy existence.  He and his wife are at odds fighting about money and even try to cheat each other out of the small amount of money they have.  One day when Tom is walking in the woods, he comes across an Indian fort where he sees a skull with a tomahawk buried in it.  He kicks it, and the devil appears.  The devil tells him that he will exchange a vast treasure for Tom's soul.  Tom refuses the devil's offer, and when he tells his wife of the encounter, she begs him to reconsider the deal.  Because he hates his wife, he refuses to try to find the devil again.  Tom's wife is infuriated and decides to find the Indian fort and the devil herself.  Tom's wife goes missing, and Tom finds her hanging from a tree near the fort.  She has died fighting the devil for the treasure.  Tom is happy his wife is dead, and after a while decides he will again seek out the devil.  When they meet again, the devil decides to give Tom the money if Tom will use the treasure for evil.  The devil suggests he become a slave trader, but Tom decides he will be a moneylender who charges high interests for loans.  Although Tom is economically successful, Tom eventually regrets the pact he made.  He becomes very religious in hopes of saving his soul.  Unfortunately, even his religious fanaticism doesn't cause him to end his dirty dealings as a moneylender.  One day the devil comes to take his soul, and Tom is put on a horse and escourted out of town and taken to hell.  

"The Devil and Tom Walker" is a tale of how one will give up their own soul and do dispicable things for money and riches.