If you're just looking for any literary element in Jack London's "To Build a Fire," look at the third paragraph. The writer uses description:
But all this...made no impression on the man. It was not because he was long used to it. He was a newcomer in the land, a chechaquo, and this was his first winter. The trouble with him was that he was without imagination. He was quick and alert in the things of life, but only in the things, and not in the significances.
This serves as description, as well as characterization and foreshadowing. Foreshadowing in the sense that after the climax occurs, the climax will make sense due to what the reader already knows about the character.