How does Tom try to get out of his bargain?
In his tale "The Devil and Tom Walker," Washington Irving wryly narrates,
As Tom waxed old, however, he grew thoughtful. Having secured the good things of this world, he began to feel anxious about those of the next.
Having made a pact with the Devil and been the cruelest of usurers under the directions of "Old Scratch," Tom begins to worry about the proverbial Day of Reckoning when he dies. So, he becomes "a violent churchgoer"; that is, he prays vociferously as though heaven can be taken by his very lung power. He is "rigid" in both religious and monetary matters; now a fundamentalist, he criticizes his neighbors, believing that every one of their sins which he exposes will "credit on his own side." In fanatical fashion, he castigates Quakers and Anabaptists, urging their persecution. Nevertheless, Tom still dreads payment to the Devil; so, he begins to carry a Bible with him at all times and assures that customers observe his reading when they come in for loans to his office.
Irving humorously includes this passage, also:
Some say that Tom grew a little crack-brained...and that fancying his end approaching, he had his horse newly shod, saddled, and bridled, and buried with his feet uppermost; because he supposed that at the last day the world would be turned upside down, in which case he should find his horse standing ready for mounting.
But, he discounts it as a "old wives' fable, narrating that this precaution of Tom's is superfluous because he calls out his own fate when, having lost "patience and piety," he tells a speculator that he has made too much money off him, "The Devil take me...if I have made a farthing!" At this moment a "black man ...holding a black horse" appears and says, "Tom, you're come for."