Tom stops at an old forest, where the common folk are afraid to go.
As Tom takes his journey through the forest, he stops at the old fort. He knows that the common people feel that the place is haunted by evil spirits.
Any one but he would have felt unwilling to linger in this lonely, melancholy place, for the common people had a bad opinion of it, [and] it was asserted that the savages held incantations here and made sacrifices to the Evil Spirit.
Supposedly the Indians had engaged in ceremonies there, which caused the people to feel that it was evil since the Indian wars. Tom is not troubled by this kind of thing, so he rests there. Of course, the people turn out to be right. The devil (“black man”) comes up to Tom and they have a conversation. Tom is not afraid of him either. He argues with him! The devil is impressed, and tells Tom about Captain Kidd’s treasure.
As Tom learns, when you make a deal with the devil you are bound to get burned.