Question 1: Notice these expressions in the text. Infer their meanings from the context.
- keep body and soul together – to manage to keep alive; to survive
- hunger gleamed in his eyes – feeling so hungry that the expression shows on oneâ€™s face
- plods along the road – moving along the road slowly but deliberately, to walk with a heavy feet
- unwonted joy – unusual pleasure or happiness
- impenetrable prison – impassable confinement
- nodded a haughty consent – indifferent agreement
- eased his way – moved himself slowly and carefully
- fallen into a line of thought – agreement of thoughts
- things have gone downhill – to decline or grow worse and worse
Question 1: From where did the peddler get the idea of the world being a rattrap?
Answer: During one of his usual plodding, the peddler thought on the subject of rattraps. It presented him with the idea of the world being a rattrap and he grew fond of thinking this way.
Question 2: Why was he amused by this idea?
Answer: The peddler was amused by the idea of the world being a giant rattrap because he was never treated kindly by the world. Therefore, he harboured hard feelings for it and loved â€˜to think ill of it by comparing it with a giant rattrap.
Question 3: Did the peddler expect the kind of hospitality that he received from the crofter?
Answer: No, the peddler did not expect the kind of hospitality that he received from the crofter. This was because usually he was greeted by sour and unfriendly faces whenever he knocked on doors and requested for shelter.
Question 4: Why was the crofter so talkative and friendly with the peddler?
Answer: The crofter was a lonely fellow who lived on his own in a little gray cottage by the roadside. He had no wife or children, and craved company and friends. So, one day when the peddler turned up at his doorstep, he was happy to find someone to talk to, to be relieved of his boredom and monotony. This is the reason he was so talkative and friendly with the peddler.
Question 5: Why did he show the thirty kroner to the peddler?
Answer: The crofter was a naive and trusting man who craved company more than anything else. He wanted to share his joy of earning the money with someone. He got his chance when the peddler came along. Moreover, he thought that the peddler did not believe him, so he showed the peddler the thirty kronor bills that he kept in a leather pouch.
Question 6: Did the peddler respect the confidence reposed in him by the crofter?
Answer: No, the peddler did not respect the confidence reposed in him by the crofter. In fact, he betrayed his trust by robbing the thirty kronors from him.
However, later in the story, his conscience was awakened by his stay with the Willmanssons and he decided to return the money.
Question 1: What made the peddler think that he had indeed fallen into a rattrap?
Answer: After stealing the money, the peddler tried to escape through the forest but soon got lost. Left in despair, he recollected his own thoughts on the world being a giant rattrap. A sudden realisation came to him that he had finally got himself caught in the rattrap because he allowed himself to be tempted by the bait, the thirty kronor bills. Similarly, on his way to the ironmaster’s home, he felt himself caught in the trap.
He was again haunted by such thoughts when the ironmaster, on realising the truth about the peddler, threatened to get him arrested. The rattrap seller expressed himself strongly realising that the worldly bait had, once more, tempted and trapped him.
Question 2: Why did the ironmaster speak kindly to the peddler and invite him home?
Answer: The ironmaster of the Ramsj Ironworks spoke kindly to the peddler because he had mistaken him for an old regimental comrade, Captain von Stahle.
The ironmaster wanted to help the peddler, not only in regaining his health but also in taking up a new vocation. Moreover, the ironmaster was a lonely fellow who lived with his oldest daughter after the death of his wife and the departure of his sons. As he longed for some company on the Christmas Eve, he invited the peddler to his home.
Question 3: Why did the peddler decline the invitation?
Answer: The peddler was alarmed at the idea of spending the night at the manor of the ironmaster, of the RamsjÃ¶ Ironworks, who was an ex-army man. He had not made an attempt to correct the ironmaster when he was mistaken for an old acquaintance. Moreover, he was anxious about the fact that he had the stolen thirty kronor bills with him, and accepting the invitation would be like throwing himself voluntarily into the lion’s den. Therefore, the peddler thought it better to decline the invitation.
Question 1: What made the peddler accept Edla Willmansson’s invitation?
Answer: By his frightened look, Edla guessed that the peddler had either stolen something or has escaped prison. So she hinted an assurance that he would be free to leave whenever he wanted. Reassured, he accepted the invitation.
Question 2: What doubts did Edla have about the peddler?
Answer: When Edla went to the iron mill to fetch the peddler, she noticed that he was frightened. She had doubts that the peddler had stolen something or had escaped prison. His appearance and behaviour also left her in doubts whether he was actually an educated man, as claimed by her father.
Question 3: When did the ironmaster realise his mistake?
Answer: The ironmaster realised his mistake the next day when the peddler turned up at breakfast. The valet had bathed the peddler, cut his hair, shaved him and given him clothes. The ironmaster realised that he had been deceived in recognising the person because of the reflection of the furnace, the previous night.
Question 4: What did the peddler say in his defence when it was clear that he was not the person the ironmaster had thought he was?
Answer: To defend himself, the peddler argued that he had never said that he was a captain or the old comrade of the ironmaster. In fact, he had repeatedly declined the invitation to spend the Christmas at the manor.
Question 5: Why did Edla still entertain the peddler even after she knew the truth about him?
Answer: Edla had a kind and sympathetic heart that was pained by the plight of the poor peddler. She requested her father to allow him to spend one day with them in peace as a respite from the struggle he had to endure round the year. Her principles did not allow her to throw this man out of her house on the Christmas Eve especially when they had already promised him a â€œChristmas cheerâ€. Moreover, she had been in high spirits that morning thinking of the ways in which she could help the tramp. Therefore, even after knowing the truth, Edla wanted to entertain the peddler.
Question 1: Why was Edla happy to see the gift left by the peddler?
Answer: Edla showed great trust in him by letting him stay at their manor on the Christmas Eve. But the news about the robbery had left her dejected. So she was overjoyed when she reached home to find the package and the letter left by the peddler. This gesture of appreciation from the peddler made her happy.
Question 2: Why did the peddler sign himself as Captain von Stahle?
Answer: Throughout his life, the peddler had never known respect. He was always treated coldly by the world. For the first time in his life, he was honoured and respected as if he were a captain. Even after the truth was exposed, the daughter continued to treat him in a similar way. The way he was treated encouraged him to behave in a like manner. He signed the letter as Captain von Stahle so as to underline the impact of Edlaâ€™s goodness on him.
Question 1: How does the peddler interpret the acts of kindness and hospitality shown by the crofter, the ironmaster and his daughter?
Answer: The different ways in which the peddler repaid the three people corresponds to the way he interpreted the kindness of the three people. The peddler realised that for the crofter it was his craving for company that led him to offer his hospitality. The ironmaster’s hospitality apparently is limited to his acquaintances. It was only the daughter who genuinely offered warmth and goodness to the peddler. He was touched by Edla’s kindness and it made him want to act differently. He repaid her good treatment with a gesture of true gratitude.
Question 2: What are the instances in the story that show that the character of the ironmaster is different from that of his daughter in many ways?
Answer: Edla and her father had different natures. She had more convincing power than the father and was able to persuade the peddler to accept the invitation. We also find that the ironmaster’s hospitability was limited to his old comrade. But, the daughter was pained by the plight of the peddler and continued to treat him well even after the truth about his identity was revealed. Again, after finding about the robbery of the crofter’s money, while the ironmaster was more concerned with the possibility of the peddler robbing them as well, the daughter is more pained by the betrayal of her trust. We also find that while the father was impulsive and reckless in nature, the daughter’s behaviour was more mature and controlled.
Question 3: The story has many instances of unexpected reactions from the characters to others behaviour. Pick out instances of these surprises.
Answer: The first instance is that of the crofter’s hospitality to the peddler. The rattrap peddler, used to being shooed away, was surprised at the friendly behaviour of the crofter. The peddlar was also surprised at the sudden invitation given by the ironmaster, who was himself shocked to realise his mistake in recognising the peddler, the next day. Another unexpected reaction, for both the peddler and the ironmaster, is Edla’s intervention to seek peddler’s presence for Christmas. However, the most unexpected reaction is from the peddler when he leaves the package and the letter for Edla, showing gratitude to the girls hospitality and respect for him.
Question 4: What made the peddler finally change his ways?
Answer: The experience of the peddler at the manor of the Willmanssons made the peddler change his ways. Earlier he had never known a true sympathiser or well-wisher. He had no friend to steer him on the right path. Though the crofter was hospitable to him and even the ironmaster had almost offered him help, they failed to leave any impact on him. It was Edla who, through her genuine care and understanding, was finally able to change the peddler for the better.
Question 5: How does the metaphor of the rattrap serve to highlight the human predicament?
Answer: The metaphor of the rattrap signifies that the world exists only to trap people by setting baits for them. Whenever someone is tempted by the luxuries, he ends up being caught in a dangerous trap. The author, thus, makes a much deeper comment on the woeful plight of those in pursuit of the worldly pleasures, which often lead them to unfortunate situations. The story helps in realising the importance of general goodness and kindness. The peddler is saved from the snare of the huge rattrap called world only when he appreciates the kindness to him by Edla.
Question 6: The peddler comes out as a person with a subtle sense of humour. How does this serve in lightening the seriousness of the theme of the story and also endear him to us?
The peddler doesn’t come across as a humorous person, although one can locate a subtle sense of humour in the way he thinks about the world as being a giant rattrap. He is singularly pleased by this thought of his because it provides him with the opportunity of thinking â€˜illâ€™ of the world that is not kind to him. It is clearly visible that whenever he gets caught unaware, in the web of deceit spun by his scheming mind, he hides behind the thought that the world is a rattrap and he merely a prey. Thus, he lightens the mood and theme of the story and makes us endear him.
Question 1: Discuss the following in groups of four. Each group can deal with one topic. Present the views of your group to the whole class.
The readers sympathy is with the peddler right from the beginning of the story. Why is this so? Is the sympathy justified?
Answer: From the beginning, the rattrap seller is shown as a victim of his situation and not a downright evil character. The peddler had to resort to beggary and stealing because his business is not profitable enough to make both ends meet. His condition of penury does not allow him to be fully righteous. Moreover, we find that he lacks friends and guide to steer him in the right path. The sympathy is justified because in the end we find out that the peddler is capable of appreciating genuine goodness and hospitality. When he is treated with respect and kindness, he reciprocates the same in the best way he can.
Question 2: The story also focuses on human loneliness and the need to bond with others.
Answer: The Rattrap deals with the issues of human loneliness and the need to bond with others. Not only the peddler but also other characters like the crofter, the ironmaster and Edla emphasise this fact.
The peddler’s conscience had left him because he had been lonely in his predicament, for a long time. But Edlaâ€™s kindness and hospitality changed him. The crofter, on the other hand, is a lonely fellow whose craving for company leads him to give shelter to a vagabond, and he ends up getting robbed. Even, the ironmaster and his daughter suffer from loneliness. They crave company on Christmas Eve and are excited when they get the opportunity to serve a guest.
Question 3: Have you known/heard of an episode where a good deed or an act of kindness has changed a persons view of the world?
Answer: Directions: Think of any incident or a story where your perspective changes due to some act of kindness from someone. Or, think about someone whose perspective changes because of a good deed by someone else. Discussing this with the group will help. After finalising the incident, write about the reason the person had a negative perspective towards life. Then describe the episode where someone bestowed kindness on him. Finally, explain what effect it had on the person on whom it was bestowed and how his perspective of the world changed.
(Directions have been provided for a students benefit. It is strongly recommended that students prepare the answer on their own.)
Question 4: The story is both entertaining and philosophical.
Answer: The story is told in the form of a fairy tale with a happy ending. The narrative is interesting with many surprises and attention-grabbing dialogues. The twists and the unexpected reactions of the characters often astonish the reader making the story entertaining.
However, the author has carefully managed to weave philosophical elements into the storyline. The rattrap peddlerâ€™s comparison of the whole world with a giant rattrap makes this an interesting commentary on how such people end up getting trapped in the giant chasm. The story also makes an observation on the inherent goodness of people. It also showcases how goodness and kindness shown by some people can change othersâ€™ perspective.
Question 1: The man selling rattraps is referred to by many terms such as â€œpeddler, strangerâ€ etc. Pick out all such references to him. What does each of these labels indicate of the context or the attitude of the people around him?
|1||Peddler||As he peddles or sells the rattraps|
|2||Vagabond||Used to describe his nomadic lifestyle|
|3||Stranger||Used to refer to the peddler when he was at the crofterâ€™s place, possibly to emphasise the fact that the crofter was compassionate to an unknown man|
|4||Guest||He is treated with compassion, especially at the ironmasterâ€™s house where he was invited to spend the Christmas|
|5||Intruder||When the peddler trespasses and enters the iron mill|
|6||Tramp||When the peddler asks for lodgings at the iron mill; also when the ironmaster, mistaking him for his old regimental comrade plans of helping him drop his tramp ways and begin a new vocation|
|7||Ragamuffin||When the ironmaster first notices him wrapped in rags and in the state to utter destitution|
|8||Old regimental comrade||The ironmaster mistakes him for his old friend when he first meets the peddler at his iron mill|
|9||Poor hungry wretch||Used only once when the author mentions the fact that Edla was excited about the prospect of getting a chance to help an unfortunate fellow on Christmas|
|10||Rat||The peddler calls himself a rat and thanks Edla for helping him escape the rattrap with her kindness and compassion|
This list may not be an exhaustive one. The students are strongly recommended to read the chapters and find other such terms and phrases on their own.
Question 2: You came across the words, plod, trudge, stagger in the story. These words indicate movement accompanied by weariness. Find five other such words with a similar meaning.
Answer: Other words are lurch, stumble, slog, hike, clump, traipse and stomp.
Question 1: Notice the words in bold in the following sentence.
The fire boy shovelled charcoal into the maw of the furnace with a great deal of clatter. This is a phrase that is used in the specific context of an iron plant.
Pick out other such phrases and words from the story that are peculiar to the terminology of ironworks.
Other such phrases could be as follows:
1. a hard regular thumping
2. hammer strokes
3. a large plant with smelter, rolling mill and forgeâ€™
4. â€˜pig ironâ€™
5. â€˜coal dustâ€™
6. â€˜put on the anvilâ€™
Question 2: Mjolis is a card game of Sweden.
Name a few indoor games played in your region. â€˜Choparâ€™ could be an example.
Answer: Some indoor games are chess, ludo, table tennis, playing cards, billiards, etc.
Question 3: A crofter is a person who rents or owns a small farm especially in Scotland. Think of other uncommon terms for â€˜a small farmerâ€™ including those in your language.
Answer: Some other terms are peasant, plower, cultivator, krishak, kisan etc
1. He made them himself at odd moments.
2. He raised himself.
3. He had let himself be fooled by a bait and had been caught.
4. â€¦ a day may come when you yourself may want to get a big piece of pork.
Notice the way in which these reflexive pronouns have been used (pronoun + self)
In 1 and 4 the reflexive pronouns â€œhimselfâ€ and â€œyourselfâ€ are used to convey emphasis.
In 2 and 3 the reflexive pronoun is used in place of personal pronoun to signal that it refers to the same subject in the sentence.
Pick out other examples of the use of reflexive pronouns from the story and notice how they are used.
|â€œâ€¦would be like throwing himself voluntarily into the lionâ€™s denâ€||used in place of personal pronoun to signal that it refers to the same subject in the sentence|
|â€œ…except my oldest daughter and myselfâ€||used in place of personal pronoun to signal that it refers to the same subject in the sentence|
|â€œ…he laughed to himself.â€||used in place of personal pronoun to signal that it refers to the same subject in the sentence|
|â€œ…better powers of persuasion than he himselfâ€||used to convey emphasis|
|â€œstretched himself out on the floorâ€||used in place of personal pronoun to signal that it refers to the same subject in the sentence|
|â€œHe could not bring himself to oppose her.â€||used to convey emphasis|
SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
Q1. How did the peddler of rattraps manage in survive?
Ans:He made rattraps of wire and went around selling them. He got material for making them
by begging in the big stores or at big farms. Since his business was not quite profitable, he would beg or steal in order to survive.
Q2. How did the peddler look? Was he different from people of his type?
Ans: He was a man with a long beard, dirty, ragged, and with a bunch of rattraps dangling on his chest. His clothes were in rags, his cheeks were sunken, and hunger gleamed in his eyes. No, he looked like the way people of his type usually did.
Q3. What idea. did he get about the world? What were its implications?
Ans: He got the idea that the whole world was only a big trap. It sets baits for people exactly as the rattrap offered cheese and pork. It offered riches and joys, shelter and food, heat and clothing as baits. It closed on the person who let himself be tempted to touch the bait. Then everything came to an end.
Q4. Why did the peddler think of the world as a rattrap? What became his cherished pastime?
Ans: The world had never been kind to the peddler. So, he got unusual joy to think ill of the world. His pastime was to think of people he knew who had let themselves be caught in the dangerous snare of the world, and of others who were still circling around the bait.
Q5. What hospitality did the peddler with rattraps receive from the old crofter?
Ans: The old crofter served the peddler hot porridge for supper and gave him tabacco for his pipe. He entertained his guest by playing cards with him. He also informed him about his prosperous past life and how his cow supported him in his old age now.
Q6. ‘The old man was just as generous with his confidences as with his porridge and tobacco’. What personal information did he impart to his guest ?
Ans: The old man told his guest that in his days of prosperity he had been a crofter at Ramsjo Ironworks. Then he worked on the land. Now he was unable to do physical labour. His cow supported him now. He supplied her milk to the creamery everyday. Last month he had received thirty kronor in payment.
Q7. Where had the old man put his money? Why did he hold it up before the eyes of his guest and what did he do later on?
Ans: The man had put his money in a leather pouch which hung on a nail in the window frame. He picked out three wrinMed ten-kronor bills for his guest to see as he has seemed sceptical. Then he stuffed them back into the pouch.
Q8.‘ The next day both men got up in good, season.’ Why? Who are the men and what did they do after getting up?
Ans: The two men are the old crofter and his guest-the peddler with, the rattraps. The crofter was in a hurry to milk his cow. His guest did not want to stay in bed when the host had risen. They left the cottage at the same time. The crofter locked the door and put the key in his pocket. The peddler bade him goodbye and thanked him. Then each went his own way.
Q9. Why did rattrap peddler return and how did he rob the old crofter?
Ans: The rattrap peddler was tempted by the thirty kronors he had seen in the leather pouch of the old crofter. He returned half an hour later, smashed a window pane, stuck in his hand and got hold of the pouch. He took out the money and thrust it into his own pocket. Thus, he robbed the old crofter.
Q10. How did the peddler feel after robbing the crofter? Why did he discontinue walking on the public highway?
Ans:At first he felt quite pleased with his smartness. Then he realised the danger of being caught by the police with the stolen money with him. He decided to discontinue walking on the public highway and turn off the road, into the woods.
Q11. Why did Edla plead with her father not to send the vagabond away? [All India 2014]
Ans: Edla was kind and sympathetic. She was much pained by the plight of the peddler. Edla requested her father to spend a day with them in peace as a respite from the struggle.
Q12. How did the peddler feel while walking through the wood? What did he realise?
Ans: During the first hours the woods caused him no difficulty. Later in the day, it became worse as it was a big and confusing forest. The paths twisted back and forth. He kept on walking but did not come to the end of the wood. He realised that he had been walking around in the same part of the forest.
Q13. What do you learn about the Ramsjo Ironworks from ‘The Rattrap’?
Ans: The Ramsjo Ironworks used to be a large plant, with smelter, rolling mill and forge. In the summer time long fines of heavily loaded barges and scows slid down the canal. In the winter time, the roads near the mill were black from charcoal dust.
Q14. Why did the blacksmith fail to notice the entry of the peddler in the forge?
Ans: The forge was full of many sounds. The big bellows groaned and the burning coal cracked. The fire boy shovelled charcoal into the maw of the fumance with a great deal of clatter. A water fall roared outside. Sharp north wind made the rain strike the brick-tiled roof. Due to all this noise the blacksmith failed to notice the peddlar’s entry.
Q15. ‘The blacksmiths glanced only casually and indifferently at the intruder’, What prompted them to do so?
Ans: Usually poor vegabonds, without any better shelter for the night, felt attracted to the forge by the glow of fight which escaped through the sooty panes. They came in to warm themselves in front of the fire. The intruder looked like other people of his type usually did.
Q16. What did the tramp ask? Was his request granted? What did he do then?
Ans: The tramp asked permission to stay. The blacksmiths hardly deigned to look at him. The master blacksmith nodded a haughty consent without uttering a word. The tramp too did not say anything. He had come there only to warm himself and sleep. So, he eased his way close to the furnace. ‘
Q17. Who was the owner of the Ramsjo Iron Mill? Why did he come to the forge that night?
Ans: The owner of that mill was a very prominent ironmaster. His greatest ambition was to ship out good iron to the market. He insisted on quality and kept a watch on the work both night and day. He came to the forge on one of his nightly rounds of inspection.
Q18. What did the ironmaster notice in the forge? How did he react then?
Ans: The ironmaster noticed a person in dirty rags lying quite close to the furnace. Steam rose from his wet rags. The ironmaster went near him and looked at him very carefully. Then he removed his slouch hat to get a better view of his face. He thought that he was an old acquaintance of his and said : “But of course it is you, Nils Olof!”
Q19. Why did the man with the rattraps not want to undeceive the ironmaster all at once?
Ans: The peddler thought that if the fine gentleman thought he was an old acquaintance, he might perhaps throw him a couple of kronor. So he did not want to undeceive him all at once.
Q20. What observation did the ironmaster make about the stranger? What did he ask him to do?
Ans: The ironmaster saw the stranger in the uncertain fight of the fumance and mistook him for his old regimental comrade. He said that it was a mistake on his part to have resigned from the regiment. If he had been in service at that time, it would never have happened. He asked the stranger to go home with him.
Q21. What did the peddler think about going up to the manor house? How did he react to the ironmaster’s invitation?
Ans: The peddler looked quite alarmed. He still had the stolen thirty kronor on him. Going up to the manor house would be like throwing himself voluntarily into the lion’s den. He did not feel pleased to go there and be received by the owner like an old regimental comrade. So he declined the invitation.
Q22. What did the ironmaster assume to be the reason behind his old comrade s refusal? Hoiw did he try to reassure him?
Ans: The ironmaster assumed that his old regimental comrade felt embarrassed because of his miserable clothing. He said that his house was not so fine that he couldn’t show himself there. He lived there only with his daughter as his wife Elizabeth was dead and his sons were abroad.
Q23. What reason did the ironmaster advance in support of his invitation to the stranger?
Ans: He said that they didn’t have any company for Christmas. He thought it was quite bad. He requested the stranger to come along with him and help them make the Christmas food disappear a little faster.
Q24. ‘The ironmaster saw that he must give in.’ What made him give in? What did he say? What did the blacksmith think about the ironmaster?
Ans: The stranger declined the ironmaster’s invitation thrice. The ironmaster then told Stjemstrom, the blacksmith that Captain von Stahle preferred to stay with him that night. He laughed to himself as he went away. The blacksmith, who knew the ironmaster, understood very well that he had not said his last word.
Q25. Who was the new guest at the forge ? Why had that person come there and how did he I she look’? Who accompanied her and why?
Ans: The new guest was the ironmaster’s daughter. She drove in there in a carriage along with a valet who carried on his arm a big fur coat. She had been sent there by her father hoping that she had better powers of persuasion that he himself. She was not at all pretty, but seemed modest and quite Shy.
Q26. Describe the scene at the forge when Edla Willmansson came there.
Ans: The master blacksmith and his apprentice sat on a bench. Iron and charcoal glowed in the furnace. The stranger had stretched himself out on the floor. He lay with a piece of pig iron under his head and his hat pulled down over his eyes.
Q27. What did the young girl notice about the stranger? What did she conclude? How did she make him feel confidence in her?
Ans: The stranger jumped up abruptly and seemed to be quite frightened. She looked at him sympathetically, but the man still looked afraid. She concluded that either he had stolen something or else he had escaped from jail. She spoke to him in a very friendly manner to make him feel confidence in her.
Q28. What did the peddler of rat traps think while he was riding up to the manor house?
Ans: Whfie he was riding up to the manor house he had evil forebodings. He questioned himself why he had taken that fellow’s money. He thought that he was sitting in the trap and would never get out of it.
Q29. Why did the peddler derive pleasure from his idea of the world as a rattrap? [Delhi 2014]
Ans: The peddler was very happy with the idea of the world as a rattrap because he was never given kindly treatment by the world. He had quite different feeling for it and loved to think ill of it by comparing it to a rattrap.
Q30. How did the ironmaster try to convince his daughter about the stranger’?
Ans: He asked his daughter to have some patience. She would see something different as soon as the stranger got clean and dressed up. Last night he was naturally embarrassed. He asserted that tramp manners would fall away from him with tramp clothes.
Q31. What impression did the well-groomed guest make? How did the ironmaster react and why?
Ans: He looked truly clean and well dressed. The ironmaster did not seem pleased. He looked at him with contracted brow. It was because he had made a mistake in identifying the person in uncertain light at night. He demanded an explanation from the man.
Q32. What did the ironmaster threaten to do after knowing the mistake? How did the stranger save himself?
Ans: The ironmaster threatened to call in the sheriff. The stranger told him that the Sheriff might lock him up for dissembling. He reminded the ironmaster that a day might come when he might get tempted, and then he would be caught in the big rattrap of the world. The metaphor amused the ironmaster. He dropped the idea of sending for the sheriff, but asked the stranger to leave at once.
Q33. ‘The daughter stood there quite embarrassed and hardly knew what to answer.’ What embarrassed her? Why did she intercede for the vagabond?
Ans: The daughter had drawn plans to make things homelike and typical of Christmas, for the poor hungry wretch. She could not get away from this idea at once. She felt embarrassed when her father asked the man to get out. She interceded for the vagabond to persuade her father to let him stay for Christmas.
Q34. What arguments did the young girl give in favour of the stranger’s stay there?
Ans: She said that the whole year long, the stranger walked around. He was probably not welcome or made to feel at home even at a single place. He was chased away wherever he turned. He was always afraid of being arrested and cross-examined. She wanted him to enjoy a day of peace with them-just one in the whole year.
Q35. “He only stared at the young girl in boundless amazement.” What made the man with the rattraps react in this manner?
Ans: The young girl told him after the Christmas dinner that the suit he wore was to be a Christmas present from her father. He did not have to return it. If he wanted to spend next Christmas Eve peacefully, without any evil befalling him, he would be welcomed back again. This amazed him.
Q36. “The young girl sat and hung her head even more dejectedly than usual.” What two reasons forced her to behave in this manner?
Ans: First, she had learned at church that one of the old crofters of the ironworks had been robbed by a man who went around selling rattraps. Second, her father taunted her and held her responsible for letting that “fine fellow” into the house.
Q37. Sum up the contents of the letter addressed to Miss Willmansson.
Ans: The stranger did not want her to be embarrassed at the Christmas season with a thief. As she had been nice to him as if he were a captain, he would be nice to her as if he were a real captain. She asked her to return the money to the old crofter. The rattrap was a present from a rat who would have been caught in the world’s rattrap if he had not been raised to captain. It was as captain that he got power to clear himself.