"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" is a trickster tale, and the mood is tongue-in-cheek and humorous as the story unfolds of the red-blooded, down-to-earth, practical Bram Bones besting the effete, European-style schoolmaster, Ichabod Crane.
Brom's description might well characterize the tone of the story, especially in terms of his "waggish good humor":
He was always ready for either a fight or a frolic; but had more mischief than ill-will in his composition; and, with all his overbearing roughness, there was a strong dash of waggish good humor at bottom.
The story rolls along to an ironic ending, in which the seemingly simple Bram tricks the better-educated but superstitious Ichabod into thinking the legendary headless horseman of the region does exist. When Crane sees what he thinks is the real headless horseman, he is so frightened that he runs away, never to be seen again.
Brom, who had Crane as a rival for Katrina's hand, is able to take her as his bride. While the narrator tells us, tongue-in-cheek, that all the old country wives insist on the truth of the supernatural story of Crane being spirited away by the headless horseman, Brom has a different take. He was
observed to look exceedingly knowing whenever the story of Ichabod was related, and always burst into a hearty laugh at the mention of the pumpkin; which led some to suspect that he knew more about the matter than he chose to tell.