Tone in The Devil and Tom Walker

With the swamp setting and presence of the devil himself, this story has a dark and mysterious atmosphere. Irving’s fictional sketch uses a foreboding tone to not only create a moral warning for his readers but also to get them to believe in his story as if it were an actual legend.

The Devil and Tom Walker 1
"there was a great amount of treasure..."   (The Devil and Tom Walker)

The description of the inlet and swamp as well as the inclusion of the devil introduce the story's themes of moral corruption and greed while simultaneously helping establish a dark and mysterious tone for the story. The swamp is dark and dangerous, but it also has a seductive allure with the promise of wealth and hidden treasure.