How does the peddler interpret the acts of kindness and hospitality shown by the crofter, the ironmaster and his daughter?


Answer – 

The peddler was a rattrap seller. He was leading a life of misery. He was homeless. Moreover, he didn’t have enough money to survive. So, he had to depend upon begging and thievery. He was once offered shelter by an old crofter. The old lonely crofter wanted company and showed kindness towards the peddler by sharing his porridge and tobacco. In return, the peddler betrayed him and stole his money.

The ironmaster mistook him as his old companion Captain Von Stahle; he showed his kindness to him and invited him to his house for Christmas Eve. The peddler knew that the ironmaster was making a mistake by thinking him to be his old friend but here also he did not clear the air and simply accepted the invitation. He did this so that the ironmaster may give him some money out of pity but later, on discovery of the mistake, there was a fierce argument between the two.

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Elda Willmanson who was the iron master’s daughter invited him to their house in a very friendly way. Also, she insisted her father to let him stay for Christmas Eve even after it was revealed that he was not Captain Von Stahle. The kind and selfless nature of Elda changed the peddler and he not only thanked her by gifting a rattrap for being so kind and caring but also requested her to return the stolen money to the old crofter.



Check out more Questions and Answers from The Rattrap


Give examples from the story, “The Rattrap” to show how the iron master is different from his daughter. 

Explain the metaphor of the rattrap in context of the story by Selma Lagerlöf. 

Why did Edla still entertain the peddler even after she knew the truth about him?

The story has many instances of unexpected reactions from the characters to others’ behaviour. Pick out instances of these surprises?

The story, ‘The Rattrap’ is both entertaining and philosophical. Do you agree with this statement? Why/Why not?

Describe how the story, ‘The Rattrap’ shows that basic human goodness can be brought out by understanding and love.


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