At the beginning of Washington Irving's tale "The Devil and Tom Walker," it is unclear what the title character does for a living. The narrator notes that Tom is both "meager" and "miserly." Judging by his house and property, which had an "air of starvation" and was described as a "land of famine," it might best be assumed that Tom did nothing. After his deal with the Devil, however, he becomes a moneylender in Boston. Initially, the Devil wants Tom to outfit a ship and become a slave trader, but when Tom balks at that they settle on Tom becoming a "usurer." When the Devil suggests that Tom lend money at "two per cent a month," Tom insists that he will charge four. Tom's mean and greedy ways eventually make him quite a wealthy man in Boston until, just before he is about to foreclose on the mortgage of a supposed friend, the Devil appears, taking him away to the "black hemlock swamp," and he is never seen again.