What did the woods symbolize in The Devil and Tom Walker?
Washington Irving published The Devil and Tom Walker in 1824. Like in many poems and short stories at that time, the woods represent evil and darkness.
In Washington Irving's "The Devil and Tom Walker", Tom's wife attempts to extract a deal with the Devil by bringing him all of the silver in the Walker House. Things go very badly for Mrs. Walker and she is killed by the Devil. Tom, who never liked his wife, is happy she is gone and doesn't even trouble the Devil about the return of his belongings.
Tom Walker dies when he is not being fair to a person part of his investment. When the man accuses him of being unfair, he says that the devil take his soul if he is lying to him. At that very moment, the devil is there to take him, and the bibles to protect him are out of his reach. Before he can do anything, he is taken by the devil, put on the back…