To be grateful is a great virtue of a gentleman. How did the peddler show his gratitude to Edla?

The Rattrap is the story of a peddler who used to earn his living by selling small rattraps of wire. But, since his business was not profitable, he often indulged in begging and stealing. He had a grudge against the world because no one was ever kind to him. He took pleasure in imagining others in pain and misery as much as he was. This is why he did not mind absconding with the old crofter’s thirty kronors even though the crofter treated him with kindness. However, Edla’s sympathetic behaviour and understanding nature transformed the thief into an honest man. Edla’s father wanted the peddler out of his house immediately when he came to know that he was not his old friend. But Edla insisted that the peddler should spend Christmas Eve with them and stay for the Christmas feast. She fed him, gave him clean clothes to wear and a place to sleep for the night. The peddler was not expecting to be treated with so much respect, almost like a gentleman. Edla’s humbleness and compassion won over the peddler and brought about a change in him. He not only left behind the thirty kronors notes to be returned to the crofter, the peddler also left Edla a rattrap as her Christmas gift. In the letter, the peddler thanked Edla for her kindness and hospitality. He signed the letter as Captain von Stahle because Edla made her feel so honoured. The peddler’s transformation proves that basic human goodness can be brought out by understanding and love.

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