The antagonist, General Zaroff, has been hunting ever since he got a gun at the age of five. He was execptional at hunting, and as he grew up he seeked challenges in hunting. That was until he got very bored of hunting, as there were no challenges.
General Zaroff invites an American author, Sanger Rainsford, to his home. There he discusses about his childhood & his passion for hunting. He later reveals that he will "hunt a human" (murder). As Rainsford was about to leave, the general challenged him as a diversion. The general was actually going to kill Rainsford.
Rainsford came back the next day, and he was still lingering about the words that the general said about murder. General Zaroff invited him for brunch. When he invites Rainsford, he offers brunch, and he later "challenges" him in hunting, as a diversion for his real plan.
Rainsford! How are you already here?!
Rainsford agrees to the "challenge", and at dusk he sets out to hunt. What he didn't know was that the general was playing with him each step of the way, and he realized it when the general appeared right in front of his eyes.
Zaroff was determined to beat him since he was always one step ahead of Rainsford. He was like the Hare in the fable, "The Tortoise & the Hare". What he didn't know was that Rainsford was clever enough to catch up.
When Zaroff became overconfident, he didn't know that Rainsford had caught up. He was in shock when he saw Rainsford appear in front him. The general respected him, and he became humbled.