Washington Irving creates two very miserable characters in his short story, "The Devil and Tom Walker." Tom Walker is a "miserly" man who will do anything for money, even sell his soul to the devil, Old Scratch. Tom lives in a pitiful house that looks as unhappy as Tom's own life. Even his horse looks starved. Tom's wife is just as bad. She is as miserly as Tom and even thinks of ways to cheat her own husband by keeping "secret hoards" of things she has hidden away, such as eggs. As well, she has a foul temper, and she and Tom are regularly engaged in heated arguments. Just like Tom, she is willing to bargain with the devil. Both live poor, meager lives.
Also, both characters end up the worse for trying to make a deal with Old Scratch. Tom's wife fearlessly takes household items to bargain with the devil and is never seen again. Tom is more successful in his deal with the devil and does become wealthy because of it. However, at the end, the devil does get his soul.