Word Meaning, Summary, Important Questions Of Chapter 4 The Rattrap | Class 12
Hindi Meaning Of Difficult Words | Chapter 4 The Rattrap
|S.No.||Word||Meanings||Meanings (in hindi)||Synonyms|
|1||Sunken||lowered||डुबोया हुआ||drowned, sunk|
|3||Monotonous||boring||उबानेवाला||dull, uninteresting, unexciting|
|4||Vagabond||wanderer||पर्यटक||tourist, hobo, camper|
|5||Plods||walks heavily||थके क़दमों से चलना||tramp, drag oneself, stomp|
|6||Tempted||convinced||प्रयत्न करना||to try, entice, persuade|
|7||Cherished||to love, protect||प्यार करना||adore, admire, appreciate|
|8||Dreary||dull||सुस्त||drab, lax, inactive|
|9||Dejected||sad||उदास||crestfallen, cast down, depressed|
|10||Snare||trap||जाल||mesh, net, toils|
|11||Trudging||walking slowly||थकाऊ भ्रमण||plod, tramp|
|12||Carved off||to divide something into parts||खुदी हुई||thrash|
|13||Generous||liberal||उदार||benevolent, lenient, magnanimous|
|15||Prosperity||riches||समृद्धि||affluence, flourishing, welfare|
|16||Crofter||A person who works on a rented farm||व्यक्ति जो किराए के खेत में काम करता है||peasant farmer, metayer.|
|17||Creamery||A factory that produces cheese and cream||मक्खन घी आदि बनाने का कारखाना||dairy farm, buttery|
|18||Kronor||Currency of Sweden||स्वीडन की मुद्रा||…………|
|19||Incredulous||unbelieving||विश्वास न होना||doubtful, unconvinced|
|20||Stuffed||to fill up with something||भरवां||fill, pack|
|21||Impenetrable||impassable||अभेद्य||impregnable, invulnerable, unassailable|
|23||Despair||hopelessness||निराशा||disappointment, frustration, discouragement,|
|24||Thumping||the sound of some heavy object beating||ज़बरदस्त||blatant, persevering, dogged|
|25||Summoned||gathered||बटोरना||pick, mass, rally|
|26||Stagger||To walk with difficulty||लड़खड़ाहट||stumble, wobble|
|27||Forge||A shop where metal is heated||लुहारखाना||hammer out, mould|
|28||Smelter||A machine in which metal is melted to form into a shape||धातु गलानेवाला||foundry, brickworks|
|29||Rolling mill||machine to roll metal into sheets||बेलन मिल||………..|
|30||Bellows||air bag that emits a stream of air used for blowing air into a fire.||हवा का थैला||…………..|
|34||Whipped||beaten with a whip, here to hit something||मार पड़ी है||thrash, beat|
|35||Haughty||arrogant||घमंडी||cavalier, lordly, supercilious|
|36||Amazement||wonder||आश्चर्य||surprise, crimine, gracious|
|37||Boundless||limitless||असीम||infinite, unbounded, unending|
|38||Deigned||do something that one considers to be beneath one's dignity||कृपा दिखाना||condescend|
|39||Slouch hat||hat bend on one side of the head.||टोपी पहनना||…………|
|40||Acquaintance||associate||परिचित व्यक्ति||contact, colleague|
|41||Undeceive||to tell someone that his belief is mistaken||सन्मार्ग पर लाना||disenchant, disillusion.|
|42||Downhill||worst||नीचे जानेवाला||dipping, dropping.|
|43||Regiment||unit in the army or defence forces||सैन्य-दल||patrol, picket|
|44||Manor house||A large country house||हवेली||mansion, main house.|
|45||Comrade||A fellow soldier||साथी||partner, companion|
|46||Alarmed||Frighten||शंकित||apprehensive, distrustful, suspicious|
|47||Inconspicuously||invisible or which is not noticeable||अस्पष्ट||implicit, dubious, Enigmatic|
|48||Valet||personal attendant||व्यक्तिगत परिचर||retainer, menial|
|49||Modest||humble||नरम||soft, malleable, tender|
|50||Compassionately||showing sympathy for others||दयापूर्वक||benevolently, commiseratively, relentingly|
|51||Astonished||greatly surprised||आश्चर्यचकित||surprise, startle|
|52||Forebodings||a foretelling||पूर्वाभास||adumbration, anticipation, premonition|
|53||Queer||strange||विचित्र||odd, unusual, funny|
|54||Preach||advice||धर्म का उपदेश देना||sermonize, evangelize, address|
|55||Groomed||ready||तैयार||prepare, make ready|
|57||Dissimulate||pretend||बहाना करना||feign, dissimulate|
|58||Splendor||luxury||वैभव||majesty, pomp, assets|
|59||Thundered||make a loud noise||गरजा||howl, growl, brattle|
|60||Hesitating||to be reluctant||दुविधा में पड़ा हुआ||undecided, unconvincing, indeterminate,|
About The Poet | Selma Lagerlöf | Chapter 4 The Rattrap
Selma Lagerlöf was the first female writer who won the Nobel Prize for Literature. She was born in Sweden in 1858. Sweden experienced an industrial revolution and its agriculture was displaced by the mushrooming of industries. This led to the extreme poverty of farmers. “The Rattrap” gives us a psychological insight of the human mind when this transformation was taking place. The story is set with this plot and the extreme greed and avarice for the materialistic things is highlighted. The essence of the story is humourous, philosophical as well as historical.
Short Summary Of Chapter 4 The Rattrap In English
The story revolves around a poor vagabond who made rattraps from the begged materials. He was a wanderer. He struggled for living but later resort to begging and stealing for some extra income for his survival.
One day; when the peddler v was lonely, he became engrossed in his own thoughts. He was quite amused to think that the whole world was a big rattrap. It lured people with riches and joys and all the materialistic happiness. But these were the baits to entrap people. The vagabond felt that succumbing to temptation spells end of everything. The misery and discontentment in the life of vagabond made him think ill for the world. One day, he stopped at a little gray cottage by the roadside. The owner of the house was a man without wife or children. He agreed to give shelter to the vagabond. Delighted to have company, the generous host gave him dinner and then played cards with him. The old man trusted the vagabond so he shared his personal details with him. He told that he was a crofter at Ramjo Ironworks, had a milch cow and earned thirty kronors in payment the previous month. He also showed the nail where he hung the pouch containing thirty kronors.
The vagabond thanked the host for his generosity the next morning and went his own way. When the crofter locked his house to milk the cow, the rattrap peddler returned, went up to the window, broke the pane, took the thirty kronors from the pouch and walked away.
The peddler ran towards the forest in order to discard public highway and to avoid getting caught. He went round and round in the forest for a long time but landed nowhere as it was a big and confusing forest. He realised that he was trapped and the escape was impossible.
The vagabond felt dejected and tired. As he laid his head on the ground in order to rest, he heard the thumping of a hammer. This made him realise that there may be an iron mill somewhere close by. He gathered all his will power and headed towards the direction of the sound. He reached Ramjo. Ironworks where the master blacksmith sat near the furnace with his helper. The vagabond crept into the mill unnoticed. He entered the forge and asked for the permission from the master blacksmith to lie down. It was a cold December night and the peddler wanted shelter. The permission was given to him coldly. The vagabond made himself comfortable near the furnace to keep himself warm. Since the owner of the mill was very particular about the quality of the product, he visited the iron mill every night. When he saw the vagabond lying near the furnace, he mistook him as captain Nils Olof, his old friend. The vagabond did not disclose his true identity as he thought of making some money from the ironmaster. Ironmaster invited him to his manor house.
The peddler vehemently refused to go to his house as he was afraid that the thirty kronors he stole may put him in a tight spot. The ironmaster interpreted his denial as embarrassment because of his dirty worn out clothes so, he argued that it was not such a magnificent home that the peddler could not show himself there. He told that his sons were abroad and wife Elizabeth being dead, he stayed only with his oldest daughter so, it would not be embarrassing at all. He insisted the vagabond to join them for Christmas celebrations. Yet, the vagabond refused the ironmaster’s invitation.
The ironmaster then sent his daughter to persuade the vagabond. Though the daughter was not pretty, she was modest and shy. As she approached him. the peddler got alarmed and scared. She introduced herself, as Edla Willmansson. She invited him and said he may leave after Christmas anytime. The vagabond finally gave into Edla’s insistence and accompanied her. He covered himself with the fur coat carried by the lady’s valet. He also felt guilty of stealing the money meanwhile. He found himself completely entrapped. He thought he may not come out of this trap now.
Next day, the ironmaster came for his breakfast. He told his daughter that his friend should get a good meal and decent livelihood. However, his daughter said that she did not find anything in the guest which could assure her that he was an educated man. The ironmaster put her apprehensions to rest saying that once he would bath and change into better clothes he would look groomed. But when the peddler came out the ironmaster realised that he did not resemble his friend from his old regiment. He was angry and demanded an explanation. He also said that he will take the matter to the sheriff. The rattrap peddler defended himself saying that he made no pretence about being a captain. He also reminded that he was pleading to be allowed to stay in the forge. Then he offered to change into his old rags and leave immediately. He became agitated, saying that the whole world was nothing but a rattrap. All the offers were a bait to put into trouble. He insisted that the ironmaster was not impeccable himself. He too may get tempted and entrapped by the world someday.
Ironmaster got convinced by the argument.He asked the peddler to leave immediately and promised he will not take the matter to the sheriff. But Edla insisted on the vagabond to stay back. She felt it would be unfair to turn him out after promising Christmas cheer. Her father finally gave in. The peddler wondered about Edla’s motive behind this kind act. She took his hand and took him to the table and fed him well.
After that, on Christmas Eve, the peddler did nothing but sleep. He slept through the morning, got up to have his share of the good Christmas fare, and after that he slept again. He slept as if he had never slept before, quietly and safely. He later participated in lightening the Christmas tree and helped himself to some Christmas fish and porridge served to him. He thanked everyone present and wished them good night. Edla asked him to keep her father’s suit as Christmas gift. He may also return next year to celebrate Christmas with them. The peddler was amazed with her words. Leaving behind the sleeping peddler, the father and daughter went to the church. After the service they returned home having heard from the church about the peddler’s theft. The girl feels very dejected. The ironmaster was unhappy that they let the vagabond stay in their house. He was confident that the peddler would have disappeared by then with their silverware. But, when they reached, the valet informed them that the guest had left empty-handed and had left a Christmas present for Edla. When Edla opened the package she found three wrinkled ten kronor notes along with a rattrap. There was a letter of gratitude for Edla’s behaviour towards him. The peddler had requested her to return the thirty kronor notes to the old crofter. He also wrote that he was thankful for elevating him to the status of the captain. This was the reason behind changing his old ways. He signed the letter with his name as Captain von Stahle because this name gave him the power to clear his conscience.
Important Previous Year Questions From Chapter 4 The Rattrap
SA I (2 marks)
- How did the Crofter entertain the peddler? (2020)
- Why did the peddler derive pleasure from his idea of the world as a rattrap? (Delhi 2014)
- Why did Edla plead with her father not to send the vagabond away? (AI 2014)
- In what sense was the world a big rattrap according the the peddler? (Delhi 2014 C)
- Why did the peddler knock on the cottage by the roadside? How was he treated by the owner of the cottage? (Delhi 2014 C)
- What conclusion did the ironmaster reach when he heard that the crofter had been robbed by the peddler? (AI 2014 C)
- What were the contents of the package left by the peddler as a Christmas gift for Edla Willmansson? (AI 2014 C)
- Why did the peddler decline the invitation of the ironmaster? (Delhi 2012)
- Why was the crofter so friendly and talkative with the peddler? (Delhi 2012)
- Who was the owner of Ramsjö iron mills? Why did he visit the mills at nights? (AI 2012)
- Why didn’t the stranger tell the ironmaster that he was not Nils Olof? (AI 2012)
- Why was the crofter so talkative and friendly with the peddler? (Delhi 2011)
- Why was the peddler surprised when he knocked on the door of the cottage? (AI 2011)
- What made the peddler finally change his ways? (AI 2011)
SA II (3 marks)
- Why was the peddler amused at the idea of the world being a rattrap? (Delhi 2016)
- What hospitality did the peddler receive from the crofter? (Delhi 2016)
- Why did the Crofter show the thirty kronor to the peddler? (AI 2016)
- Why did the ironmaster speak kindly to the peddler and invite him home? (AI 2016)
- How could the peddler enter the forge without being noticed by the blacksmith? (Foreign 2016)
- At the crofter’s home, why did the peddler feel very happy? (AI 2015 C)
SA III (4 marks)
- Read the extract given below and briefly answer the questions that follow.
But just as he laid his head on the ground, he heard a sound – a hard regular thumping. There was no doubt as to what that was. He raised himself. “Those are the hammer strokes from an iron mill,” he thought.
(i) Who is he?
(ii) Where was ‘he’ at that moment?
(iii) Why did he lay his head on the ground?
(iv) Did he feel comfortable on hearing the thumping sound? Why? (2020)
LA II (6 marks)
- How does the story, ‘The Rattrap’ show the redemptive power of love and compassion? (AI 2019)
- ‘The Rattrap’ focuses on human loneliness and the need to bond with others. Comment. (Delhi 2019)
- The peddler thinks that the whole world is a rattrap. This view of life is true only of himself and of no one else in the story. Comment. (Delhi 2017)
- The peddler declined the invitation of the ironmaster but accepted the one from Edla. Why? (Delhi 2015)
- Edla proved to be much more persuasive than her father while dealing with the peddler. Comment. (Delhi 2015)
- Why did the crofter repose confidence in the peddler? How did the peddler betray that and with what consequences? (Delhi 2015)
- Why did the ironmaster invite the peddler to his home? Why did the latter decline it? (Foreign, 2015)
- To be grateful is a great virtue of a gentleman. How did the peddler show his gratitude to Edla? (A1 2015 C)
LA IV (10 marks)
- How did the peddler feel after robbing the crofter? What course did he adopt and how did he react to the new situation? What do his reaction reveal? (Delhi 2013)
- There is a saying, ‘Kindness pays, rudens never! In the story, The Rattrap Edi attitude towards men and matters is differen from her father’s attitude. How are the value of concern and compassion brought out the story, The Rattrap? (Al 2013)
- How are the attitudes of the ironmaster and his daughter different? Support your answer from the text. (Delhi 2012)
- How did the ironmaster react on seeing the stranger lying close to the furnace? (AI 2012)
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Answer Of Chapter 4 The Rattrap For The Above Questions
- The crofter fed the peddler porridge for supper and tobacco to smoke and even played a game of cards with him. He also allowed him to stay at his home in the night. He was so carried away in entertaining the peddler that he even showed his earnings and where he kept them.
- The peddler handcrafted rattraps and sold them to earn a living, besides begging and stealing. His life was sad and monotonous; no one treated him kindly. He often felt gloomy because of his loneliness and at such times it gave him unwonted joy to think that the world was a giant rattrap, which lured and entrapped others in it by offering temptations, just as a rattrap would offer treats as bait. As he enjoyed thinking ill of the world, it pleased him that he was free from the rattrap; the temptations of the world could not ensnare him in the trap.
- Edla had a kind and sympathetic heart that was pained by the plight of the poor peddler. She pleaded with her father not to send him away because first, it was Christmas and Edla wanted to keep the spirit of Christmas alive and second, she wanted the peddler to spend a day of comfort and solace as a respite from his visual struggle.
- Refer to answer 2.
- The peddler knocked on the cottage by the roadside to ask for shelter for the night. The crofter, who was a lonely man, treated him with kindness. He not only offered the peddler shelter in his cottage, he also gave him food, played cards with him and shared tobacco.
- When the ironmaster heard that the crofter had been robbed by the peddler he said to his daughter that the peddler must have stolen their silver spoons and other valuables and left the manor house.
- As Christmas gift, the peddler left a package for Edla Willmansson. It contained a rattrap, three ten kronor notes and a letter. In the letter, the peddler had expressed his regret for robbing the crofter and his gratitude towards Ms. Willmansson for treating him like a captain.
- The peddler declined the ironmaster’s invitation because he still had the thirty kronor notes he had stolen from the crofter. He was afraid that going to manor house would only mean throwing oneself into the lion’s den voluntarily. All he wanted was to catch some sleep in the forge and later sneak out as quietly as possible.
- The old crofter was a lonely man without wife or child. He was generous and compassionate by nature, always in search of a good company. When the crofter saw the wearied peddler at his door, he welcomed him into his house out of compassion. By doing so, he also found a companion to do away with his loneliness for the night. The crofter I was extremely generous at serving dinner and cutting tobacco for his guest, the peddler, without once thinking that he might be a thief.
- The owner of Ramsjö iron mills was a very prominent ironmaster, Mr. Willmansson. He visited the mills at night to inspect that the work was done well. It was a routine inspection.
- The stranger thought that the ironmaster I might give him a couple of kronor taking pity on an old known person. So, he didn’t tell the ironmaster that he was not Nils Olof.
- The crofter was suffering from loneliness he had no one to talk to. That night, when the peddler arrived at his door, the crofter found a companion in him with whom he could have a good conversation. This is why the crofter was so talkative and friendly with the peddler.
- The peddler was surprised because he did not expect a hearty welcome when he knocked on the cottage door let alone receive the crofter’s kind hospitality. Usually, he met sour faces who turned him away without showing him any kindness.
- The kind, understanding and generous behaviour of Edla, the ironmaster’s daughter, finally changed him.
- Refer to answer 2.
- The good natured crofter was a lonely man. So, when the peddler knocked on his door, for shelter the crofter welcomed him with open arms. He served him porridge for supper and offered him a big slice of tobacco for his pipe. He also played a game of cards with the peddler till bedtime. This hospitality was unexpected as people usually made sour faces when the peddler asked for shelter.
- The crofter showed the thirty kronors to the peddler because the crofter felt proud of the cow that gave him enough milk to support him. The peddler was not convinced that the crofter could possess so much money. The only way to convince him was to show it to him. Besides, the crofter was a lonely but trusting man, who was happy to share his feelings generously.
- The ironmaster saw the peddler in rags, sitting close to the furnace. He mistook him for an old acquaintance and expressed his joy on meeting him after a long time. The ironmaster wanted to spend the Christmas Eve with his old friend. Moreover, seeing the man in dishevelled condition, the ironmaster felt pity for him. Therefore, he spoke to the peddler kindly and invited him to his home.
- The blacksmith and his worker did not notice the peddler entering the forge because it was dark and they were busy doing their work. Besides, there was a lot of noise in the forge due to iron bar being hammered on the anvil and the heavy storms outside.
- At the crofter’s home, the peddler felt very happy because it was for the first time someone had welcomed him into one’s house. The lonely crofter fed the peddler warm porridge, shared tobacco with him, played cards and treated him very nicely. The crofter shared his secrets with peddler and even showed him where he kept his money. The crofter gave him a comfortable bed to sleep in.
- (i) He is the rattrap peddler.
- (ii) He was trapped in the forest at the moment.
- (iii) He saw no way out being trapped in the forest. He thought that his last moment had come that’s why he laid his head on the ground.
- (iv) Yes, he felt comfortable hearing the thumping sounds because it was the sound of hammer strokes which meant people were nearby and he might get some help finally.
- The peddler, who has never been treated with kindness and compassion, first comes across it when the lonely crofter welcomes him into his house. Next, it is the ironmaster and his daughter Edla, who are seen showing compassion towards the weary peddler. Although, the ironmaster expresses concern towards him only until he realises that he has mistaken the peddler for an old and close friend, Edla’s attitude towards men and matters is different from her father’s attitude. The ironmaster behaves rudely with the peddler and questions him about his dishonest behaviour, he even threatens to inform the sheriff about the peddler’s actions as he does not want the vagabond in his house anymore. However, Edla empathises with the tired and dishevelled looking peddler. She invites him to celebrate Christmas with them and enjoy the Christmas feast. She is more persuasive than her father; she seems firm yet polite in her approach when she insists that he should stay with them for as long as he wants. She asked him to keep her father’s suit, which is given to him to wear and invites him to come back next year for Christmas. The peddler used to be someone with a grudge against the world. However, compassion and understanding shown by Edla transforms this selfish thief into a man with conscience. He not only returns the crofter’s money, but also leaves a letter and a gift, a rattrap, for Edla. In the letter he thanks Edla for treating him like a true gentleman, with great honour and respect and assures her that he shall change his old ways. This shows that kindness pays, rudeness never. The peddler was not bad at heart but only a victim of his circumstances.
- The poorly dressed, starving peddler wanders from place to place, making small rattraps, which is a way to earn his living other than begging and stealing. He has never been treated with kindness because of which he has a grudge against world. To imagine others ensnared in the giant rattrap that the world is, gives the petty peddler a sense of satisfaction. However when, first the crofter and then Edla, show kindness towards him, it affects his conscience to quite an extent. The old crofter’s loneliness is clearly evident in the story. It is because of his loneliness, he invites the peddler into his house to spend the night. The peddler is amazed by the old man’s hospitality and soon starts to feel at home. The crofter too, finds a companion in the peddler; and shares his food, tobacco and some of his secrets as well.
- The ironmaster and his daughter bring the peddler home thinking he is an old friend. It is Christmas Eve and they don’t want him to be lonely on Christmas. So they ask him to stay for the Christmas feast. Realising the peddler’s real identity, the ironmaster threatens to inform the sheriff and also asks him to leave. However, Edla insists on him staying and treats him like a guest, like the regimental officer as initially assumed by her father. She offers him food, clothes and shelter. Being treated so, it brings about a total transformation in the peddler. He resolves to pull himself up, to live a life of respect and dignity. Ultimately, The Rattrap is a story focussing o human loneliness and the need to bond with others.
- Being ill-treated and rejected by the world, the peddler derived pleasure from the thought that the world was a huge rattrap; all its joys and comforts were merely baits to entrap people, However, he failed to realise that this view of life was true only of himself and of no one else.
- The peddler believed that as soon as one yielded to the temptations being offered to one, it brought one’s doom. His own actions proved this point. For the peddler, the baits, which the world offered were food, a comfortable place to sleep and above all, money. Since he had neither of those, he engaged in petty thefts and was in constant fear of getting arrested. When the crofter welcomed the peddler into his house, treated him with kindness and made him his confidant, the peddler could not help but give into these momentary pleasures. Instead of expressing gratitude towards the old and kind-hearted crofter, who felt comfortable enough to show the peddler his thirty kroner, the latter absconded with the former’s money. Later, when the peddler got lost in the woods, tired and hungry, the thought of the world being a rattrap reoccurred to him. The only difference was that it was he who was trapped this time, unable to find an escape.
- He felt caught in the worldly-rattrap once again when the ironmaster threatened to inform the sheriff about the peddler and his dishonest behaviour. The peddler finally realised that all good things in life were a bait used to entrap people and nobody was spared.
- The ironmaster, mistaking the peddler a an old acquaintance, invites him to his house for the Christmas celebration. He seems to be a sympathetic person in the beginning, trying to persuade the peddler as much as possible. However, the peddler refuses to accept the invitation because he was afraid to go to the manor house as he had stolen money from the crofter. Although the ironmaster leaves, he allows his daughter, Edla to bring the peddler home. Edla seems more persuasive than her father, being firm yet polite in her approach. She comes with a fur coat for the peddler and assures him that he is free to leave whenever he desires after the Christmas celebration is over. Edla is not conventionally beautiful. But she, with her polite confidence, friendly and compassionate attitude is able to win the peddler’s trust and persuade him to accompany her to her house for the Christmas celebration.
- Refer to answer 25.
- The crofter repose confidence in the peddler because he lived alone in a cottage and wanted to enjoy human company. He was generous, kind and often felt lonely. Having found a likable companion in the peddler, the crofter opened up to him and talked about his work and his saving. Since the peddler seemed incredulous, the crofter took the leather pouch and without any inhibitions showed him the thirty kronor notes. Being a petty thief and always in need of money, peddler took advantage of the crofter’s loneliness and planned to steal the thirty kronor. It did not matter to him that by stealing from the crofter, he would be betraying his trust. Knowing where the old crofter kept his money, the peddler returned when the crofter left his house to milk his cow. He broke the window pane, took the leather pouch, took the money and absconded with it. At first, he felt quite pleased with himself and had no guilt of conscience. However, he soon realised the danger of being caught by the police. He switched to the path, which ran through the forest, became lost eventually. Tired, dejected and unable to find his way, he felt trapped in the rattrap of life just like others.
- When the ironmaster of the iron mill came for his routine visit the peddler, who was lying close to furnace, caught his attention. Mistaking the peddler for Nils Olof, a close acquaintance belonging to the same regiment, the ironmaster, invited him to spend Christmas Eve with him and his daughter. Although the peddler did not disclose his real identity to the ironmaster, he politely declined his invitation. The ironmaster’s invitation made the peddler think he was going to fall into a trap. After stealing from the crofter, the peddler thought that it would be safer to go through the jungle to avoid getting caught. However, it was a cold and stormy night; the peddler soon lost his way in the jungle. Tired and dejected, the peddler had sneaked into the iron mill for shelter. The crofter’s money was still with the peddler. He thought that to go to the manor house with the money would be like throwing himself into the lion’s den. It occurred to him that the world was a rattrap, offering him the temptation of shelter just as the rattrap would offer cheese and pork as bait.
- The Rattrap is the story of a peddler who used to earn his living by selling small rattraps of wire. But, since his business was not profitable, he often indulged in begging and stealing. He had a grudge against the world because no one was ever kind to him. He took pleasure in imagining others in pain and misery as much as he was. This is why he did not mind absconding with the old crofter’s thirty kronors even though the crofter treated him with kindness. However, Edla’s sympathetic behaviour and understanding nature transformed the thief into an honest man. Edla’s father wanted the peddler out of his house immediately when he came to know that he was not his old friend. But Edla insisted that the peddler should spend the Christmas Eve with them and stay for the Christmas feast. She fed him, gave him clean clothes to wear and a place to sleep for the night. The peddler was not expecting to be treated with so much respect, almost like a gentleman. Edla’s humbleness and compassion won over the peddler and brought about a change in him. He not only left behind the thirty kronors notes to be returned to the crofter, the peddler also left Edla a rattrap as her Christmas gift. In the letter, the peddler thanked Edla for her kindness and hospitality. He signed the letter as Captain von Stahle because Edla made her feel so honoured. The peddler’s transformation proves that basic human goodness can be brought out by understanding and love.
- Having robbed his lonely, generous host, the peddler felt quite happy with his actions. He did not feel any qualms of conscience that he had abused the confidence reposed in him by the crofter. The peddler thought only of his own. He was walking along the public highway with the thirty kronor in his pocket, feeling pleased with himself. But soon he realised that the police would be after him, waiting to arrest him for the robbery. Terrified by the idea of getting arrested, the peddler changed his course and adopted a route going through the woods however, soon lost in his way. It was then that the peddler became angry with himself for getting tempted by the bait like thirty kronor and caught in rattrap like others. The reaction of the peddler highlights the predicament of human nature. Temptations lead to evil, the fruits of evil seem pleasant at first, but they deprive man of his goodness and push him into doing wrong things.
- Refer to answer 22.
- The characters of Miss Edla Willmansson and of the ironmaster are exactly opposite to each other. In the beginning, the ironmaster seems to be a sympathetic person when he mistakes the peddler as his old friend from the regiment and tries to persuade him to join him for Christmas Eve. But, his attitude changes when he comes to know that the man is not his friend but someone else.
- He even calls him dishonest and threatens to hand him over to the sheriff. He does not want him in his house; only on the insistence of his daughter, Edla, he allows the peddler to stay. But he always remains suspicious about him.
- On the contrary, Miss Edla is calmer, more affectionate and understanding. She intervenes to stop her father from ill-treating the stranger and plays the good host. She treats him as if in reality he was a captain and gives him good clothes to wear. She brings the transformation in him by providing the comfortable and most congenial hospitality environment. Being there, the peddler, who could not change himself even with the warm of the old crofter, her generosity and the brings the change of heart in him. sympathy
- On seeing the stranger lying close to the furnace, the ironmaster went closer to him and looked at him carefully. He removed his slouch hat to get an even closer look at him. As the light was low and due to the peddler’s unkempt appearance, the ironmaster thought him to be Nils Olof, one of his old regimental comrades. The ironmaster was happy to see an old friend’ so, he invited the peddler to his home for Christmas celebration. When the peddler declined his invitation, the ironmaster insisted saying that the former was more than welcome in his humble abode. The ironmaster thought that his old friend’ was embarrassed about his current situation because of which he did not want to come. The ironmaster felt sorry for the man in rags so, he persisted trying to bring him home with him. However, when the peddler still refused to accept his invitation, the ironmaster sent his daughter to persuade his old friend.