Why did the ironmaster invite the peddler to his home? Why did the latter decline it?

When the ironmaster of the iron mill came for his routine visit the peddler, who was lying close to furnace, caught his attention. Mistaking the peddler for Nils Olof, a close acquaintance belonging to the same regiment, the ironmaster, invited him to spend Christmas Eve with him and his daughter. Although the peddler did not disclose his real identity to the ironmaster, he politely declined his invitation. The ironmaster’s invitation made the peddler think he was going to fall into a trap. After stealing from the crofter, the peddler thought that it would be safer to go through the jungle to avoid getting caught. However, it was a cold and stormy night; the peddler soon lost his way in the jungle. Tired and dejected, the peddler had sneaked into the iron mill for shelter. The crofter’s money was still with the peddler. He thought that to go to the manor house with the money would be like throwing himself into the lion’s den. It occurred to him that the world was a rattrap, offering him the temptation of shelter just as the rattrap would offer cheese and pork as bait.

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