Teachers, Tom’s wealth, house, horses and business. There

Teachers, utilize this lesson to confirm students read the book. These questions will also enhance their critical thinking and analysis skills. You may use this lesson in a traditional classroom or online environment.

Tom Walker

  • What city and state does the story begin?
  • Explain relationship between Tom Walker and his wife? Do they act like a loving married couple? Why or why not?
  • Describe one major awful thing Tom and his wife did to each other? Do friends or neighbors defend the husband or wife? Why or why not? Although relationships may not be perfect, describe how people should treat each other.
  • Compare and contrast the place where you live to the Walker’s house. What are the differences? Are there any similarities? Explain.
  • In today’s time, the Walker’s would be criminally charged for endangering animals.


  • Tom is pre-occupied with money, explain.

Strange Things Happen in the Swamp

  • Use at least five descriptive words to describe the swamp Tom takes as a short cut.
  • Clearly Tom’s in a haunting place in the swamp, have you ever been in a scary place? If so, where were you, and how did you feel? If not, discuss a friend, family member or classmate’s situation.
  • What does Tom find in the swamp? Who does he encounter in the swamp at the same time? What conversation do they have? Do you think Tom was initially rude? Why or why not?
  • What is another name for Old Scratch? What’s Old Scratch’s purpose for being in the swamp? What does he tell Tom about some of the men Tom knows? Be specific.
  • Does Tom appear afraid of Old Scratch? Why or why not?
  • Old Scratch makes Tom an offer he can’t refuse, but needs to think about it; what is it? Most people handshake on a deal, but what does Old Scratch do to ensure he’s serious about the offer?

Tom’s Lovely Wife

  • Tom’s wife tells him some interesting news when he returns from the swamp; what was it? In return, Tom tells his wife about the encounter in the swamp; what does she think about it?
  • If someone told you about an encounter similar to what Tom told his wife, what would be your reaction? Explain.
  • What does Tom’s wife decide to do since Tom is hesitating on Old Scratch’s offer? Is she successful the first time?
  • Tom’s wife decides to try something a second time.

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    What was it? What happens to her? How does Tom feel about it? Is he mad at Old Scratch? Why or why not?

A Deal with the Devil

  • Tom and Old Scratch finally come to an agreement. Explain. As a result, Tom becomes extremely wealthy, how?
  • Discuss how Tom treats the residents now? Do you think it was fair, why or why not?
  • Describe Tom’s religious ways. Do you believe he’s becoming religious or is he using religion for another purpose? Discuss in detail.
  • Eventually Old Scratch comes for Tom.

    Explain what happened that night. Also, discuss what happened to Tom’s wealth, house, horses and business.

  • There are many life lessons to be learned in this book. Choose the most important one and discuss.

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