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Vagabonds are normally despised by the society. What happens when they are treated like an ordinary respectable human being is the main theme of this story. Introduction: The vagabond who is often chased by people is welcomed by an old man. In spite of the good nature of the old man the vagabond robs him. He later returns the money due to the good deeds and kind nature of a young lady. Summary: The vagabond sold self made rattraps. He made the rattraps with wire which he got by begging in the stores or big farms.
At times he used to beg and steal, he had a philosophy of his own the entire world was a sort of rattrap. People were lured by the various pleasures of life just as a rat is attracted by cheese or pork. One day he met an old man as he was seeking shelter for the night. He was given hot porridge, tobacco to smoke and they even played cards.
The old man showed the vagabond his money pouch and the three ten kroner notes. He slept that at the old man’s house and the next day he left the house with the three notes.
He wandered into the forest for fear being caught for his thievery. He lost his way and finally stumbled into Ramsjo Ironworks in search of warmth and shelter. The owner of the Ironworks mistakes him to be an old friend and took him home. The vagabond played along but later requested to go back to the warmth of the forge.
The Ironmaster sent his daughter to bring him back. The gentle and kind nature of the young lady made him follow her. Once he cleaned and shaved, the Ironmaster realized that he was a stranger.
He asked the vagabond to leave his house but his daughter wanted him to stay. He ate and slept the entire day. On Christmas Eve the Ironmaster and his daughter went to church. At the church they heard that a vagabond had stolen money from an old man who had worked as crofter at Ramsjo Ironworks. The young lady became very sad and the Ironmaster was sure that all his silver spoons would have disappeared. On their return the valet said that the vagabond had left and he did not take anything along with him. On the contrary he left a small gift for the young lady.
The vagabond had returned the stolen money along with a rattrap as a gift to the young lady. He wrote a note thanking her for her kindness and asked her to return the money back to the old man. The money was like bait that drew him to it and he would have been like a rat who got caught in the trap called ‘love of money’. Conclusion: The author has very well brought the condition of the vagabond. It is important to treat them as human beings and maybe a little love and affection can work wonders in transforming them into honest and sociable people.
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