Think as you read1. From where did the paddler get the idea of the world being a rattrap?
3. Did the peddler expect the kind of hospitality that he received from the crofter ?
4. Why was the crofter so talkative and friendly with the peddler ?
8. Why did the ironmaster speak kindly to the peddler and invite him home?
9. Why did the peddler decline the invitation?
Understanding The Text1. How does the peddler interpret the acts of kindness and hospitality shown by the crofter, the iron master and his daughter?
2. What are the instances in the story that show that the character of the ironmaster is different from that of his daughter in many ways?
3. The story has many instances of unexpected reactions from the characters to others’ behaviour. Pick out instances of these surprises.
6. The peddler comes out as a person with a subtle sense of humour. How does this serve in lightening the seriousness of the theme of the story and also endear him to us?
Talking about the text1. The reader’s sympathy is with the peddler right from the beginning of the story. Is the sympathy justified?
2. The story also focuses on human loneliness and the need to bond with others. Discuss.
3. Have you known/heard of an episode where a good deed or an act of kindness has changed a person’s view of the world?
4. The story is both entertaining and philosophical.
Working With Words1. The man selling rattraps is referred to by many terms such as “peddler, stranger” etc. Pick out all such references to him. What does each of these labels indicate of the context or the attitude of the people around him.
2. You came across the words, plod, trudge, stagger in the story. These words indicate movement accompanied by weariness. Find five other such words with a similar meaning.