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Tom's undoing comes down to greed. This story focuses largely on the theme of greed and its negative effects. Tom Walker is known throughout the Charles Bay for his greed, and it is this greed that leads him to sell his soul to the devil in exchange for money. Tom's plight is meant to warn readers not to let greed blind them, for, as is the case in "The Devil and Tom Walker," it can have disastrous consequences.