‘The Rattrap’ Glossary & Para Wise Explanation Class 12 English CBSE

‘The Rattrap’ is the 4th lesson in Class 12th Book Flamingo. Here you get a comprehensive glossary and para wise explanation of the story text given in the book. Click here for more on this lesson ‘The Rattrap’.

Intext Expressions Explanations:

  1. keep body and soul together
  2. plods along the road
  3. impenetrable prison
  4. eased his way
  5. things have gone downhill
  1. hunger gleamed in his eyes
  2. unwonted joy
  3. nodded a haughty consent
  4. fallen into a line of thought

“Keep body and soul together”:

  • Meaning: To sustain one’s basic existence or survival. In the context, it suggests the man is struggling to meet his basic needs for food and sustenance.

“Hunger gleamed in his eyes”:

  • Meaning: The man’s eyes reflected the intense feeling of hunger. It emphasizes the visible impact of hunger on his physical appearance.

“Plods along the road”:

  • Meaning: To walk heavily and wearily. It describes the man’s slow and tired movement as he travels along the road.

“Unwonted joy”:

  • Meaning: Unexpected or unusual joy. The man experiences joy that is not common for him, likely referring to the joy he finds in the thought about the world being a rattrap.

“Impenetrable prison”:

  • Meaning: A prison that cannot be entered or escaped from. It describes the forest surrounding the man, emphasizing his feeling of being trapped and unable to find a way out.

“Nodded a haughty consent”:

  • Meaning: Giving agreement in a proud or arrogant manner. The owner of the cottage agrees to let the man stay, but the pride in his consent is evident.

“Eased his way”:

  • Meaning: Moved gradually or subtly. The man managed to enter the forge without causing disruption or drawing much attention.

“Fallen into a line of thought”:

  • Meaning: Engaged in a sequence of connected thoughts. The man has started contemplating a particular idea, indicating a shift in his usual thinking.

“Things have gone downhill”:

  • Meaning: The situation has worsened or deteriorated. In the context, it suggests a decline in the circumstances of the person being discussed.

Para Wise Explanation & Glossary


  • Rattraps: Devices designed to catch or trap rats.
  • Profitable: Yielding a financial gain or profit.
  • Resort to: Turn to or adopt as a last resort.
  • Petty thievery: Small-scale theft or stealing of insignificant items.
  • Body and soul together: A figurative expression meaning to maintain one’s physical and spiritual well-being.
  • Rags: Tattered or worn-out clothing.

Explanation of the story text:


  • Vagabond: A person who wanders from place to place without a home or job.
  • Plods: Walks heavily or slowly.
  • Meditations: Deep thoughts or contemplation.
  • Rattraps: Devices designed to catch or trap rats.
  • Baits: Tempting offerings used to lure or trap.

Explanation of the story text:

In this part of the story, the narrative delves into the inner thoughts and perceptions of the vagabond. The author describes how the vagabond’s life is both sad and monotonous as he walks along the road, immersed in his own contemplations. However, one day, the man experiences a shift in his thinking. He starts to view the entire world, with its lands, seas, cities, and villages, as a colossal rattrap. In his perspective, the world exists solely to set baits for people, much like the rattraps he crafts to capture rats.

The analogy is that the world offers various temptations—riches, joys, shelter, food, heat, and clothing—just like the rattrap provides cheese and pork as bait. The implication is that individuals are lured by these offerings, and once they succumb to the temptations, the metaphorical rattrap of the world closes in on them, bringing their pursuits and experiences to an end. This perspective reflects a somewhat cynical view of the world, portraying it as a trap that ensnares those who are enticed by its offerings.

  • Unwonted: Not customary or usual; unusual.
  • Cherished pastime: An activity that is fondly and carefully cultivated or indulged in.
  • Dreary: Dull, bleak, and depressing.
  • Snare: A trap or a device for catching animals.
  • Circling around the bait: Figuratively, people who are still considering or being tempted by the offerings or temptations.
  • Trudging: Walking slowly and with effort.
  • Porridge: A dish made by boiling grains or legumes in milk or water, often eaten as a breakfast food.
  • Mjolis: Possibly a term related to a card game or a form of entertainment.

In this part of the story, the narrative describes how the vagabond finds joy in thinking negatively about the world, given that it has not been kind to him. He takes pleasure in considering those who have fallen into the metaphorical trap of the world and those who are still tempted by its offerings.

One evening, as he walks along the road, he comes across a small gray cottage and decides to seek shelter for the night. Surprisingly, he is welcomed by the owner, an old man without a wife or child. Unlike the usual sour faces he encounters, the old man is happy to have someone to talk to in his loneliness. The owner of the cottage prepares supper, shares his tobacco, and engages in a card game called ‘mjolis’ with the vagabond until bedtime. This encounter contrasts with the vagabond’s usual experiences, providing a moment of warmth and connection in an otherwise harsh and unfriendly world.

Generous with his confidences: The old man is open and willing to share personal information or details about his life.

  • Crofter: A person who rents and works on a small farm, especially in Scotland.
  • Ramsjo Ironworks: Presumably a location where ironwork activities take place.
  • Day labour: Physical work done for a day’s wage, often in agricultural or manual labor.
  • Bossy: A term used colloquially for a cow.
  • Creamery: A place where milk is processed into butter and cheese.
  • Kronor: The currency of Sweden.
  • Incredulous: Unwilling or unable to believe something.
  • Leather pouch: A small bag made of leather.

In this part of the story, the narrative reveals that the old man is not only generous with food and tobacco but also with sharing details about his life. The old man informs the vagabond that he used to be a crofter at Ramsjo Ironworks, working on the land. Due to his inability to continue day labor, he now relies on his cow for support. The cow, referred to as “bossy,” is described as extraordinary because it can provide milk for the creamery every day. The old man proudly mentions that he received a significant payment of thirty kronor for the milk last month.

To convince the stranger of his prosperity, the old man retrieves a leather pouch hanging by the window, takes out three ten-kronor bills, and shows them to the guest. This action is meant to validate his claims and perhaps to dispel any skepticism the stranger may have had about the old man’s financial situation. The nodding knowingly suggests the old man’s confidence in the truth of his words.

  • Good season: Early in the morning or at an appropriate time.
  • Crofter: A person who rents and works on a small farm, especially in Scotland.
  • Head of the house: The person in charge or the owner of the house.
  • Rattrap peddler: The man who sells rattraps.

In this part of the story, both the crofter and the rattrap peddler get up early. The crofter is in a hurry to milk his cow, and the rattrap peddler, respecting the household’s schedule, decides to also rise early. They leave the cottage simultaneously, with the crofter locking the door and taking the key. The rattrap peddler expresses his gratitude and bids farewell before each going their separate ways.

However, shortly after, the rattrap peddler returns to the cottage. Instead of attempting to enter, he goes to the window, breaks a pane, reaches in, and takes hold of the pouch containing thirty kronor. He steals the money, puts it in his own pocket, carefully returns the leather pouch to its place, and leaves. This turn of events reveals a darker side to the rattrap peddler, showing that despite the hospitality he received, he resorts to theft, betraying the trust of the old man who had opened his home to him. The story seems to explore themes of deception and opportunism.

  • Smartness: Cleverness or shrewdness.
  • Dared not: Was not willing or brave enough to.
  • Public highway: Main or public road.
  • Confusing forest: A large forest that is difficult to navigate.
  • Paths twisted back and forth: The trails or paths in the forest were winding and confusing.
  • Definite direction: A clear and specific path or route.
  • Thickets: Dense, tangled bushes or undergrowth.
  • Impenetrable: Impossible to pass through or enter.

In this part of the story, the rattrap peddler, now with the stolen money in his pocket, initially feels pleased with his cleverness. However, he realizes the need to avoid the public highway to evade detection. He decides to turn off the road and enter the woods. Initially, navigating the forest doesn’t pose much difficulty, but as time passes, the forest becomes larger and more confusing. The paths wind back and forth, making it challenging for him to maintain a definite direction.

Eventually, he becomes disoriented, realizing that he has been walking in circles within the same part of the forest. This situation triggers a reflection on his earlier thoughts about the world being a rattrap. Now, he sees himself as the one who has been fooled by a bait and caught. The dense forest surrounds him like an impenetrable prison, emphasizing his predicament and the consequences of his actions. This development in the story suggests a sense of poetic justice or irony, as the rattrap peddler finds himself ensnared in the very trap he had metaphorically described earlier.

  • Descending: Moving downward or falling.
  • Gloom: Darkness or a state of being in low spirits.
  • Despair: A state of complete hopelessness.
  • Thumping: A repetitive, dull sound, like the beating of a heavy object.
  • Iron mill: A facility for processing iron.
  • Hammer strokes: The rhythmic sounds made by a hammer striking a surface.
  • Smelter: A place where metal is extracted from its ore by smelting.
  • Rolling mill: A facility where metal is rolled or shaped.
  • Forge: A workshop for shaping and working with metals.
  • Barges and scows: Flat-bottomed boats used for transporting goods on canals or rivers.
  • Canal: An artificial waterway for navigation or irrigation.
  • Inland lake: A lake located away from the coast or not connected to the sea.
  • Coal dust: Fine particles of coal.
  • Charcoal crates: Containers for transporting charcoal.

In this part of the story, it’s late December, and darkness is falling over the forest, intensifying the danger and the protagonist’s feelings of gloom and despair. Exhausted, he believes there’s no way out and resigns himself to what he thinks might be his last moments. However, he hears a distinctive sound—hard, regular thumping—which he identifies as the hammer strokes from an iron mill. This realization gives him hope, and he musters his strength to follow the sound, hoping to find people nearby.

The story introduces the Ramsjo Ironworks, a once-large plant with a smelter, rolling mill, and forge. The description highlights the industrial activity of the ironworks, including the transportation of goods by barges and scows on a canal in the summer and the presence of coal dust from large charcoal crates in the winter. This setting becomes a crucial turning point for the protagonist, offering a potential escape from the trap he found himself in.

  • Master smith: A highly skilled blacksmith, typically with expertise in metalworking.
  • Forge: A workshop where metals are heated and shaped.
  • Furnace: A structure or apparatus in which heat is produced.
  • Pig iron: Iron in the form of blocks or bars, typically obtained from a blast furnace.
  • Anvil: A heavy iron block with a flat top on which heated metal is shaped by hammering.
  • Glowing mass: A hot, incandescent substance.
  • Perspiration: Sweat.
  • Long shirt: A garment extending to a considerable length, covering the body.
  • Wooden shoes: Shoes made of wood.
  • Bellows: A device for producing a strong current of air, used to intensify a fire.
  • Coal: A combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock.
  • Fire boy: Someone responsible for managing the fire, often adding fuel or adjusting airflow.
  • Charcoal: A black, porous form of carbon obtained by heating wood or other organic matter in the absence of air.
  • Maw of the furnace: The opening or mouth of the furnace.
  • Waterfall: A place where water flows over a vertical drop in the course of a stream or river.
  • North wind: A wind blowing from the north.
  • Brick-tiled roof: A roof covered with tiles made of baked clay.

In this part of the story, the scene is set in the dark forge just before Christmas, where the master smith and his helper are waiting for the pig iron, placed in the fire, to be ready for shaping on the anvil. The master smith and his helper work in a hot and demanding environment, periodically stirring the glowing mass with an iron bar. Despite the intense heat, it’s noted that they wear only a long shirt and wooden shoes, a customary attire for such work.

The forge is filled with sounds—groaning bellows, cracking burning coal, and the clatter of the fire boy shoveling charcoal into the furnace. The outside environment is described with the roaring waterfall and a sharp north wind whipping rain against the brick-tiled roof. This vivid description creates a sensory atmosphere, immersing the reader in the industrial and natural elements of the setting.

  • Intruder: Someone who enters a place without permission or unlawfully.
  • Forge: A workshop where metals are heated and shaped.
  • Furnace: A structure or apparatus in which heat is produced.
  • Vagabonds: People who wander from place to place without a home or job.
  • Sooty panes: Windows covered with soot or carbon residue.
  • Glance casually: To look briefly or without particular attention.
  • Indifferently: Without much interest or concern.
  • Long beard: Facial hair that extends to a considerable length.
  • Dirty and ragged: Unclean and wearing torn or shabby clothing.
  • Bunch of rattraps: A group of traps designed to catch or trap rats.

In this part of the story, the blacksmiths are so absorbed in their work and the noise of the forge that they don’t initially notice a man entering until he is close to the furnace. The narrative suggests that it’s not uncommon for poor vagabonds, lacking better shelter, to be drawn to the forge by the warmth and light escaping through the sooty panes. The blacksmiths, considering it usual for such individuals to seek warmth, only give a casual and indifferent glance to the intruder.

The description of the man aligns with the stereotypical appearance of a vagabond – long beard, dirty, ragged clothing, and carrying a bunch of rattraps. This sets the stage for a potential interaction between the stranger and the blacksmiths in the forge.

  • Haughty consent: Granting permission in a proud or disdainful manner.
  • Tramp: A person who travels on foot, typically doing odd jobs for a living.
  • Nightly rounds of inspection: Regular checks performed during the night to ensure everything is in order.
  • Ragamuffin: A person, especially a child, in ragged clothing.
  • Steam rose from his wet rags: The heat from the furnace caused moisture to evaporate from the tramp’s wet and ragged clothing.
  • Ironmaster: A person who owns or manages an ironworks.
  • Slouch hat: A soft, broad-brimmed hat with a drooping brim.

In this part of the story, the tramp, seeking permission to stay in the forge, is met with a haughty consent from the master blacksmith, who nods without uttering a word. The tramp, respecting the unspoken communication, remains silent, having come to the forge for warmth and rest.

The Ramsjo iron mill is owned by a prominent ironmaster who is vigilant about the quality of work. During one of his nightly rounds, he enters the forge and immediately notices the ragged figure near the furnace. Unlike the blacksmiths who barely acknowledged the stranger, the ironmaster approaches him with curiosity, carefully inspecting him and even removing his hat to get a better view of his face. The ironmaster recognizes the tramp, addressing him as Nils Olof and remarking on his appearance. This unexpected recognition sets the stage for further developments in the story, potentially shedding light on the tramp’s background and connection to the ironmaster.

  • Kronor: The currency of Sweden.
  • Fine gentleman: A term often used to describe someone who is refined, well-dressed, or of higher social standing.
  • Undeceive: To correct a false impression or misconception.
  • God knows: An expression used to convey a sense of uncertainty or hardship.
  • Regiment: A military unit.
  • Manor house: A large country house with lands.
  • Regimental comrade: A fellow member of the same military unit.

In this part of the story, the tramp, who has never seen the ironmaster before and doesn’t know his name, contemplates the possibility of receiving money from the ironmaster if he allows the misconception of being an old acquaintance to continue. Rather than immediately correcting the ironmaster’s assumption, the tramp decides to play along.

He responds by suggesting that things have gone downhill for him and implies a connection to the military by mentioning resigning from the regiment. The ironmaster, believing the tramp to be an old comrade, expresses regret about the tramp’s departure from the military, stating that it wouldn’t have happened if he (the ironmaster) had still been in service. The ironmaster then invites the tramp to come home with him.

However, the tramp, perhaps not wanting to be entangled in a situation he did not anticipate, declines the invitation with an alarmed expression, stating that he couldn’t think of going to the manor house. This refusal hints at a reluctance or discomfort on the part of the tramp, suggesting that he prefers to maintain his current status rather than being drawn into a different social setting.

  • Lion’s den: A place or situation fraught with danger or hostile conditions.
  • Inconspicuously: In a way that attracts little attention or notice.
  • Miserable clothing: Clothing in poor or shabby condition.
  • Elizabeth: Presumably a person known to the ironmaster, who is mentioned to have passed away.
  • Abroad: In this context, it likely means away from home or in another country.
  • Oldest daughter: The ironmaster’s eldest female child.

In this part of the story, the tramp contemplates the proposition of going to the manor house, and he hesitates, considering it akin to voluntarily entering a difficult or dangerous situation, symbolized by the expression “lion’s den.” His primary goal is to use the forge as a temporary shelter for sleeping and then quietly depart without drawing attention.

The ironmaster, interpreting the tramp’s hesitation as embarrassment due to his shabby clothing, reassures him that his home is not so grand that the tramp cannot show himself there. The ironmaster shares personal details, mentioning the death of someone named Elizabeth, the absence of his boys who are abroad, and the fact that only his oldest daughter and himself are at home. He then invites the tramp to join them at the manor house, expressing a desire for company during Christmas and even humorously suggesting that the tramp could help them consume the Christmas food more quickly.

This unexpected invitation adds a layer of complexity to the tramp’s situation, as he is faced with a choice between maintaining his solitude and potentially benefiting from the ironmaster’s hospitality during the Christmas season.

  • Captain von Stahle: A title suggesting a military background, specifically a captain with the surname von Stahle.
  • Stjernstrom: Presumably, the master blacksmith’s name.
  • Turned on his heel: A figurative expression indicating that someone abruptly turned around and left.
  • Had not said his last word: Implies that the ironmaster has more to say or intends to revisit the matter.

In this part of the story, the tramp (referred to as Captain von Stahle) firmly rejects the ironmaster’s invitation, repeatedly saying no. The ironmaster, realizing that the tramp is adamant about not going to the manor house, concedes. He then addresses the master blacksmith, Stjernstrom, suggesting that Captain von Stahle prefers to stay at the forge for the night.

As the ironmaster departs, he laughs to himself, indicating that he finds the situation amusing or perhaps has a plan in mind. The master blacksmith, familiar with the ironmaster’s ways, understands that the ironmaster has not said his last word. This suggests that the ironmaster may have more to unfold or intends to revisit the matter of inviting Captain von Stahle to the manor house. The laughter and the implication of unfinished business add an element of intrigue to the unfolding narrative.

  • Carriage wheels: The wheels of a horse-drawn carriage.
  • Valet: A personal servant, often responsible for the care of clothing and personal items.
  • Big fur coat: A large coat made of fur, likely for warmth.
  • Modest: Having a humble or unassuming appearance.
  • Shy: Timid or reserved.
  • Apprentice: A person learning a trade from a skilled employer.
  • Pig iron: Iron in the form of blocks or bars, typically obtained from a blast furnace.

In this part of the story, the ironmaster’s daughter arrives at the forge, accompanied by a valet carrying a big fur coat. The ironmaster, having likely failed to convince the tramp earlier, has now sent his daughter, possibly thinking that her persuasiveness might succeed where his did not.

The atmosphere in the forge remains unchanged, with the master blacksmith, his apprentice, and the tramp in their respective positions. The tramp, lying on the floor with a piece of pig iron under his head and his hat covering his eyes, appears to be asleep. When the daughter notices him, she lifts his hat, and he abruptly wakes up, seemingly startled and frightened. The description of the tramp’s reaction adds an element of surprise and tension to the scene, leaving the reader curious about the unfolding interaction between the daughter and the tramp.

  • Edla Willmansson: The name of the ironmaster’s daughter.
  • Compassionately: With sympathy or understanding.
  • Heavy eyes: Eyes that convey a sense of seriousness or deep emotion.
  • Escaped from jail: The suspicion that the tramp might be a fugitive or a criminal who has run away from prison.
  • Confidence in her: Trust or reliance in her sincerity.
  • Bother with me: Take the trouble or make an effort for his sake.

In this part of the story, the ironmaster’s daughter introduces herself as Edla Willmansson. She explains that her father informed her about the tramp’s desire to sleep in the forge, and she sought permission to bring him home. Edla expresses sympathy for the tramp’s apparent difficulties and apologizes for his tough situation.

As she looks at him with compassion, Edla notices that the tramp seems afraid. She speculates about possible reasons for his fear, considering the possibilities that he may have stolen something or escaped from jail. Despite these suspicions, Edla reassures him that he is free to leave just as freely as he came, but she kindly invites him to stay with them over Christmas Eve.

The tramp, sensing Edla’s friendliness, feels confident in her sincerity. He expresses gratitude and agrees to accompany her, stating that he didn’t expect her personal involvement in his situation. This turn of events marks a shift in the tramp’s circumstances, as he transitions from the forge to the hospitality of the ironmaster’s home, setting the stage for further developments in the story.

  • Deep bow: A respectful and formal gesture, often involving lowering the upper part of the body.
  • Rags: Tattered or worn-out clothing.
  • Carriage: A vehicle with four wheels drawn by horses.
  • Astonished blacksmiths: The master blacksmith and his apprentice, who are likely surprised by the turn of events.
  • Evil forebodings: Negative or ominous feelings about future events.
  • Trap: A situation perceived as difficult to escape.
  • Christmas Eve: The evening before Christmas Day, a significant holiday in many cultures.

In this part of the story, the tramp, now accompanied by Edla and wearing the fur coat provided by the valet, leaves the forge without acknowledging the astonished blacksmiths. While riding to the manor house, the tramp begins to have negative thoughts and regrets about accepting money from the ironmaster. He feels like he’s fallen into a trap and worries about the consequences.

As Christmas Eve arrives, the ironmaster, likely satisfied with the unexpected reunion with his old regimental comrade, looks forward to the holiday. This sets the stage for further developments, hinting at the potential impact of the tramp’s presence in the ironmaster’s home during the Christmas festivities. The tramp’s internal conflict and the ironmaster’s satisfaction create a sense of anticipation and uncertainty in the narrative.

  • Get a little flesh on his bones: To help someone gain weight or become healthier.
  • Busy at the table: Engaged in activities related to preparing or setting the table.
  • Run around the country: Travel extensively or move from place to place.
  • Educated man: Implies that the tramp may have had a formal education or a higher social standing at some point.
  • Tramp manners: Behaviors associated with a vagabond or someone living a transient lifestyle.

In this part of the story, the ironmaster expresses his concern for the tramp’s well-being and suggests that the first priority is to ensure he gains some weight. He also emphasizes the need to find the tramp a more meaningful occupation than selling rattraps.

Edla, the daughter, reflects on the tramp’s situation, mentioning that it’s surprising how much things have deteriorated for him. She recalls her initial impression that there was nothing about him the previous night to indicate that he had once been an educated man.

The ironmaster reassures his daughter, suggesting that the tramp’s true nature may become apparent once he is clean and dressed appropriately. He believes that the tramp’s current embarrassment and tramp-like behavior will diminish once he sheds the associated clothing. This anticipation sets the stage for the transformation of the tramp’s character and the potential impact of the ironmaster’s hospitality on his life.

  • Clean and well dressed: Refers to someone who is tidy, having bathed and wearing neat clothing.
  • Valet: A personal servant, often responsible for personal grooming and other tasks.
  • Puckered brow: A facial expression characterized by wrinkles or furrows on the forehead, often indicating confusion, displeasure, or deep thought.
  • Uncertain reflection from the furnace: Suggests that the ironmaster might have seen the tramp in a distorted or unclear manner in the dim light of the forge.
  • Broad daylight: Refers to daytime, when natural sunlight illuminates the surroundings.

In this part of the story, the tramp, having undergone a transformation through grooming and new clothing provided by the ironmaster, enters the room. He is now clean, with a haircut and a shaved face, wearing a good-looking suit of clothes that belonged to the ironmaster. The description emphasizes the improvement in his appearance, including a white shirt, a starched collar, and whole shoes.

Despite the tramp’s enhanced appearance, the ironmaster does not seem pleased. He scrutinizes the tramp with a furrowed brow, indicating his dissatisfaction. The narrative suggests that the ironmaster might have made a mistake in recognizing the tramp as an old acquaintance when he saw him in the uncertain reflection from the furnace the night before. In the clear light of day, it becomes apparent that the tramp is not the person the ironmaster initially thought him to be.

The ironmaster, now realizing the error, expresses his confusion and dissatisfaction, thundering with the question, “What does this mean?” This marks a turning point in the story, introducing a new layer of tension and raising questions about the tramp’s true identity and the circumstances that led to his presence in the ironmaster’s home.

  • Dissimulate: To conceal or disguise one’s true feelings or intentions.
  • Splendour: Grandeur or magnificence.
  • Trader: Someone engaged in trade or commerce.
  • Forge: A workshop where metals are heated and shaped.
  • Harm has been done: Implies that the situation may have caused some negative consequences.
  • Sheriff: A law enforcement officer with specific duties, often at the county level.
  • Cheese rinds and bits of pork: Metaphorical expressions for enticing but ultimately unsatisfying or deceptive offerings.
  • Locked up: Incarcerated or detained.

In this part of the story, the tramp, now confronted about his true identity, acknowledges the end of the charade. He admits that he never pretended to be anything other than a poor trader and emphasizes that he requested permission to stay in the forge. The tramp minimizes the potential harm, suggesting that he can put on his old clothing and leave if necessary.

The ironmaster responds, pointing out that the tramp’s actions were not entirely honest, hinting that the sheriff might have something to say about the matter. The tramp, undeterred, takes a bold step forward and strikes the table with his fist. He then shares his perspective on the world, likening it to a big rattrap. He argues that the enticing things offered in life are like bait, intended to lead people into trouble. The tramp issues a warning to the ironmaster, suggesting that a day may come when the ironmaster, too, falls into a trap, emphasizing the unpredictability of life’s circumstances.

This exchange adds depth to the story, highlighting themes of deception, temptation, and the consequences of one’s actions. It also sets the stage for potential repercussions and a further exploration of the tramp’s philosophy on life.

  • Homelike: Creating an atmosphere of warmth and comfort associated with a home.
  • Christmassy: Reflecting the festive and joyful atmosphere of Christmas.
  • Interceded: Advocated or pleaded on behalf of someone.

In this part of the story, the ironmaster responds to the tramp’s bold statements with laughter and a somewhat lenient attitude. He suggests letting the sheriff be on Christmas Eve but instructs the tramp to leave promptly. However, the daughter intervenes, expressing her desire for the tramp to stay with them for the day, and she closes the door to prevent him from leaving.

The ironmaster, surprised by his daughter’s actions, questions her decision. The daughter, feeling embarrassed, struggles to provide a straightforward answer. The narrative reveals that in the morning, she had envisioned creating a homelike and Christmassy atmosphere for the tramp, planning to make the day festive for the hungry wanderer. Her compassion and the desire to extend kindness to the vagabond lead her to intercede on his behalf, challenging her father’s initial decision to dismiss the tramp.

This development introduces a conflict within the family regarding the treatment of the tramp and sets the stage for further exploration of the characters’ motivations and the dynamics between them. The daughter’s compassion and the clash of perspectives contribute to the complexity of the narrative.

  • Cross-examined: Questioned thoroughly and often aggressively, typically in a legal or investigative context.
  • Mumbled something in his beard: A figurative expression indicating that the ironmaster muttered or spoke quietly to himself without making his words fully audible.
  • Oppose: To go against or resist.
  • Christmas cheer: The festive and joyful spirit associated with the Christmas season.

In this part of the story, the daughter explains her perspective to her father, expressing empathy for the tramp’s difficult and transient life. She emphasizes that the stranger, who walks the whole year long, likely struggles to find a welcoming place where he can feel at home. She paints a picture of the tramp’s constant fear of being chased away and arrested, highlighting the challenges he faces.

The daughter’s compassion leads her to advocate for the tramp’s presence and request that he be allowed to enjoy a day of peace with them on Christmas, which she sees as a small gesture of kindness. The ironmaster, though initially hesitant, cannot bring himself to oppose his daughter’s compassionate plea. The daughter acknowledges that the situation was a mistake but argues against turning away someone they have invited and promised Christmas cheer.

The ironmaster, in response, somewhat playfully suggests that his daughter preaches like a parson (clergyman) and expresses a hope that they won’t regret this decision. This exchange adds depth to the characters’ relationships and explores themes of kindness, forgiveness, and the willingness to welcome a stranger into their home during the Christmas season.

  • Given in: Accepted or yielded to someone’s request or persuasion.
  • Interceded: Advocated or pleaded on behalf of someone.
  • Forenoon: The time of day between morning and noon; late morning.

In this part of the story, the daughter takes the tramp by the hand and guides him to the table, signaling that her father has given in to her plea. She encourages the tramp to sit down and eat, and he follows her lead without saying a word. The tramp, still puzzled by the young girl’s intercession, observes her curiously.

As Christmas Eve at Ramsjo unfolds, the tramp doesn’t cause any trouble; instead, he spends most of the time sleeping. In the guest room, he lies on the sofa and sleeps for an extended period. The narrative notes that when he wakes up at noon, he is brought to the table to partake in the good Christmas fare, after which he resumes sleeping. The description highlights the tranquility and safety the tramp experiences during his time at Ramsjo, suggesting that this environment provides a rare respite from his usual restless and uncertain life.

This part of the story explores the aftermath of the decision to welcome the tramp into the home for Christmas Eve, focusing on the tramp’s quiet presence and the contrast between his usual hardships and the comfort he finds at Ramsjo. It adds a layer of mystery regarding the reasons for the daughter’s compassionate act and leaves the reader curious about the resolution of the story.

  • Christmas tree: A decorated evergreen tree, traditionally associated with the celebration of Christmas.
  • Blinking: Closing and opening the eyes rapidly, often in response to bright light.
  • Christmas fish and porridge: Traditional Christmas dishes, often varying by region and cultural practices.
  • Present: A gift given to someone, especially as a token of goodwill or celebration.

In this part of the story, the tramp is awakened when the Christmas tree is lit, and he briefly joins the celebration in the drawing room. However, he soon disappears again. Later in the evening, he is awakened once more to partake in the Christmas fish and porridge in the dining room.

After the meal, the tramp expresses gratitude and bids good night to each person present. When he reaches the young girl, she communicates her father’s intention that the suit he’s wearing is a Christmas present. The gesture implies that he is not required to return the clothing. Furthermore, she extends an invitation for the tramp to spend the next Christmas Eve in their home, assuring him a peaceful and safe environment where no harm will befall him. This offer is a continuation of the kindness the family has shown him, emphasizing themes of generosity, compassion, and the spirit of Christmas.

This part of the story marks a significant moment of connection between the characters and further explores the impact of the daughter’s decision to welcome the tramp into their home for Christmas Eve. It also hints at the possibility of a continued relationship or friendship between the family and the tramp.

  • Boundless amazement: Expressing extreme surprise or astonishment without limits.
  • Early Christmas service: A religious service held early in the morning on Christmas Day.
  • Dejectedly: In a disheartened or depressed manner.
  • Crofters: Small-scale farmers or tenants, often working on rented land.

In this part of the story, the tramp, still wearing the suit given as a Christmas present, reacts to the young girl’s invitation for him to return next Christmas Eve with boundless amazement. His lack of verbal response is noted.

The following morning, the ironmaster and his daughter, having attended the early Christmas service, return home. The young girl appears more dejected than usual, and her father questions the wisdom of letting the tramp into the house. He reveals that during their time at church, they learned that a man selling rattraps, similar to the tramp, had robbed one of the old crofters (small-scale farmers) at the ironworks.

The father expresses concern about potential theft, mentioning silver spoons as a symbolic representation of valuable items in the household. This development introduces a twist in the narrative, creating tension and raising questions about the true intentions of the tramp and the consequences of the family’s hospitality. It adds complexity to the characters’ relationships and challenges the initial impression of the tramp as a harmless wanderer.

  • Valet: A personal servant, typically employed to care for the clothing and personal needs of their employer.
  • Done up: Wrapped or packaged.
  • Wrinkled: Folded or creased, often resulting in small lines or ridges.
  • Jagged: Having rough, uneven, or irregular edges.

In this part of the story, the ironmaster, upon returning home from church, inquires about the stranger. The valet informs him that the man has left and did not take anything with him. Instead, the tramp left a package for Miss Willmansson as a Christmas present.

Upon opening the package, the young girl discovers a small rattrap inside. To her joy, she finds three wrinkled ten-kronor notes within the rattrap. Additionally, there is a letter with large, jagged characters. The letter is from “Captain von Stahle,” the tramp himself. In the letter, he expresses gratitude for the kindness shown to him during the day. He explains that the rattrap is a Christmas present from a rat (referring to himself), and he emphasizes that he didn’t want the young girl to be embarrassed by a thief. The letter suggests that the money is to be returned to the old man on the roadside who uses a money pouch as bait for poor wanderers.

This unexpected turn of events adds a layer of complexity to the story, challenging the assumption that the tramp was a thief. It reveals a surprising act of kindness on the part of the tramp and provides insight into his perspective and motivations. The letter introduces the alias “Captain von Stahle,” highlighting the tramp’s imaginative and perhaps whimsical nature.

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