This man is the miserable Tom Walker he lives in this miserable house with is horrible wife (Pg 277). His attitude is that everything is against him. Tom has lost all hope and needs someone to help him.
So one day when he was taking a short cut home threw the woods he met a strange fellow. Tom and the man argued about who belonged on the land. Then the strange man offered Tom a deal to make his life much better. The man said "Give me your soul and you can have fortunes". When the man said this Tom realized the man as the devil! Tom denied him and ran back to his home.
After Tom pondered the idea that the devil had offered him for a while. Eventually Tom took the deal. But even with all the wealth Tom still had a miserable life, and even worse he did not have his sole.