the rattrap [CBSE] class 12-NCERT.english solution for lesson-4 ,explanation ,summary, word meanings,

The Rattrap class-12 NCERT solution,

The Rattrap by

Selma Lagerlof

point To Remember

The Rattrap Man

  • made his living by selling rattraps.
  • business not profitable
  • had to beg and steal.

His philoshpy

  • whole world a rattrap
  • it offers riches, joys, shelter fond etc, as bait
  • everything comes end with no Return,

Shelter at crofter,s house,

  • one night rattrap man stayed at an old man’s house
  • old man happy to get a company
  • simple, generous , hospitable served porridge
  • offered big slice from tobacco roll, played cards
  • told him about his prosperous past.
  • now his cow supported him, earned thirty kronors
  • showed the rattrap man pouch having those kronors,
  • next day the rattrap man stole money.

Rattrap man lost his way:

  • did not continue on public highway
  • went into woods, lost his way
  • walked endlessly, tired
  • realized he himself has been caught in a rattrap
  • heard sounds of hammer strokes walked in that direction, reached iron mill
  • found master smith, did not notice rattrap man,
  • later blacksmith granted him permission to sleep.

Iron master and his daughter Edla;

  • owner of Ramsjo iron mill
  • mistook rattrap man as old acquaintance called von stahle,
  • invited him home to spend christmas
  • rattrap man did not agree
  • agreed when edla came and requested
  • overwhelmed by her compassionate and friendly manner.

Secrets Revealed

  • rattrap man was given bath and new dress
  • iron man realized his mistake that the rattrap man was not his friend,
  • complained that the rattrap man made no attempt to hide
  • the peddler ready to leave the new dress and wear old rags,
  • Edla requested her father to allow him to stay
  • they had promised him to celebrate christmas with him,
  • the rattrap man turned a new leaf
  • quietly ate, food slept whole time
  • next morning father and daughter went to church
  • they heard that the crofter was robbed by a rattrap man,
  • daughter sad, father anxious if their house would also have been robbed.
  • but the peddler had left a gift of a small rattrap with thirty kronors and a note
  • wished money to be returned to crofter
  • confessed that he had made a mistake
  • got caught in his own rattrap
  • thanked edla for treating him like a real captain.


once upon a time there was a man who went around selling small rattraps of wire. he made them himself at add moments, from the material he got by begging in the stores or at the big farms, but even so, the business was not especially profitable, so he had to resort to both begging and petty thievery to keep body and soul together .even so, his clothes were in rags, his cheeks were sunken, and hunger gleamed in his eyes,

No one can imagine how sad and monotonous life can appear to such a vagabond, who plods along the road, left to his own meditations, but one day this man had fallen into a line of thoughts, which really seemed to him entertaining .he had naturally been thinking of his rattraps when suddenly he was struck by the idea that the whole world about him-the whole world with its lands and seas, its cities and village-was nothing but a big rattrap .it had never existed for any other purpose than to set baits for people, it offered riches and joys, shelter and food, heat and clothing exactly as the rattrap offered cheese and pork, and as soon as anyone let himself be tempted to touch the bait, it closed on him, and then everything came to an end.

the world had, of course never been very kind to him, so it gave him unwonted joy to think ill of it in this way, it became a cherished pastime of his, during many dreary ploddings, to think of people he knew who had let themselves be caught in the dangerous snare, and of others who were still circling around the bait, one dark evening as he was trudging along the road he caught sight of a little gray cottage by the roadside, and he knocked on the door to ask shelter for the night, nor was he refused, instead of the sour faces which ordinarily met, him the owner who was an old man without wife, or child was happy to get someone to talk to in his loneliness, Immediately he put the porridge pot on the fire and gave him supper, then he carved off such, a big slice from his tobacco roll that it was enough both for the stranger’s pipe and his own. finally he got out an old pack of cards and played mjolis with his guest until beditime

the old man was just as generous with his confidences as with his porridge and tobacco the guest was informed at once that in days of prosperity his host had been a crofter at ramsjo Ironworks and had worked on the land, now that he was no longer able to do day labour, it was his cow which supported him, yes that bossy was extraordinary, she could give milk for the creamery every day, and last month he had received all of thirty kronor in payment, The stranger must have seemed incredulous, for the old man got up and went to the window, took down a leather pouch which hung on a nail in the very window frame, and picked out three wrinkled ten-kronor bills, these he held up before the eyes of his guest nodding knowingly, and then stuffed them back into the pouch.

The next day both men got up in good season. the crofter was in a hurry to milk his cow, and the other man probably thought he should not stay in bed when the head of the house had gotten up. they left the cottage at the same time, the crofter locked the door and put the key in his pocket the man with the rattrap said good bye and thank you, and thereupon each went his own way, but half an hour the rattrap peddler, stood again before the door, he did not try to get in, however he only went up to the window, smashed a pane, stuck with the thirty kronor. he took the money and thrust it leather pouch very carefully back its place and went away.


as he walked along with the money in his pocket he felt quite pleased with his smartness .he realized of course , that at first he dared not continue on the public high, but must turn off the road, into the woods during the first hours this caused him no difficulty , later in the day it became worse, for it was a big and confusing forest which he had gotten into, he tried to be sure, to walk in a define direction but the paths twisted back and forth so strangely . he walked and walked without coming to the end of the wood, and finally he realized the he had only been walking around in the same part of the forest, all at once he recalled his thoughts about the world and the rattrap. now his own turn had come . he had let himself be fooled by a bait and had been caught the whole forest, with its trunks and branches , its thickets and fallen logs, closed in upon him like an impenetrable prison from which he could never escape,.

it was late in december, darkness was already descending over the forest, this increased the danger, and increased also his gloom and despair, finally he saw no way out and he sank down on the ground tired, to death thinking that his last moment had come, but just as he laid his head on the ground , he heard a sound —a hard regular thumping from an iron mill ” he to what that was he raised himself those are the hammer strokes from an iron ,mill, he thought, there must be people near by” he summoned all his strength, got up, and staggered in the direction of the sound. the Ramsjo Iironworks which are now closed down, were , not so ;long ago, a large plant with smelter , rolling mill and forge in the summertime long lines of heavily loaded barges and scows slid down the canal, which led to a large inland lake, and in the wintertime that roads near the mill were black from all the coal dust which sifted down from the big charoal crates.

during one of the long dark evening just before christmas the master smith and his helper sat in the dark forge near the furnace waiting for the pig iron , which had been put in the fire, to be ready to put on the anil, every now and then one of them got up to stir the glowing mass with a long iron her returning in a few moments, dripping with perspiration, though as, was the custom, he wore nothing but a long shirt and a pair of wooden shoes at the time there were many sounds to be heard in the forge. the big bellows groaned and the burning coal cracked the fire boy shovelled charcoal into the man of the furnace with a great deal of clatter. outside roared the waterfall, and a sharp north wind whipped the rain against the brick-tiled roof.

it was probably on account of all this noise that the blacksmith did not notice that a man had opened the gate and entered the forge, until he stood close up to the furnace. surely it was nothing unusual for poor vagabonds without any better shelter for the night to be attracted to the forge by the glow of light which escaped through the sooty panes. and to come in to warm themselves in front of the fire, the blacksmith glanced only causally and indifferently at the intruder. he looked the way people of his type usually did, with a long beard dirty , ragged and with a bunch of rattraps dangling on his chest. he asked permission to stay, and the mastel blacksmith nodded a haughty consent without honouring him with a single word. the tramp did not say anything , either he had not come there to talk but only to warm himself and sleep.

In those days the ramsjo iron mill was owned by a very prominent ironmaster, whose greatest ambition was to ship out good iron to the market. he watched both night and day to see that work was done as well as possible and at this very moment he came into the forge on one of his nightly rounds of inspection . naturally the first thing he saw was the tall ragamuffin who had eased his way so close to the furnace that steam rose from his wet rags, the ironmaster did not follow the example of the blacksmiths, who had hardly deigned to look at the stranger. he walked close up to him, looked him over very carefully, then tore off his slouch hat to get a better view of his face, but of course it is you, nils olof, he said ‘how you do look,

the man with the rattrap had never before seen the ironmaster at ramsjo and did not even know what his name was. but it occurred to him that if the gentleman he was an old acquaintance, he might perhaps throw him a couple of kronor. therefore he did not want to undeceive him all at once. yes, god knows thing have gone downhill with me ,he said you should not have resigned from the regiment” said the ironmaster “that was the mistake. if only I had still been in the service at the time , it never would have happened well, now of course you will come home with me, to go along up to the manor house and be received by the owner like an old regimental comrade–that, however , did not please the tramp

No, I couldn’t think of it he said, looking quite alarmed he thought of the thirty kronor to go up to the manor house would be like throwing himself voluntarily into the lion’s den, he only wanted a chance to sleep here in the forge and then sneak away as inconspicuously as possible the ironmaster assumed that the he felt embarrassed because of his miserable clothing please don’t think I have such a fine home that you cannot show yourself there, he said Elizabeth is dead as you may already have heard. my boys are abroad and there is no one at home except my oldest daughter and myself, we were just saying that it was too bad we didn’t have any company for Christmas now come along with me and help us make the Christmas food disappear a little faster

but the stranger said no, and no, and again no, and the ironmaster saw that he must give in, it looks as though captain von stahle preferred to stay with you tonight, stjernstrom, he said to the master blacksmith and turned on his heel. but he laughed to himself as he went away, and the blacksmith , who knew him, understood very well that he had not said his last word, it was not more than half an hour before they heard the sound of carriage wheels outside the forge, and a new guest came, in but this time it was not the ironmaster, he had sent his daughter , apparently hoping that she would have better powers of persuasion than he himself

she entered followed by a valet, carrying on his arm a big fur coat, she was not at all pretty, but seemed modest and quite shy, in the forge everything was just as it had been earlier in the evening the master blacksmith and his apprentice still sat on their bench, and iron and charcoal still glowed in the furnace. the stranger had stretched himself out on the floor and lay with a piece of pig iron under his head and his hat pulled down over his eyes, as soon as the young girl caught sight of him, she went up and lifted his hat. the man evidently used to sleeping with one eye open .he jumped up abruptly and seemed to be quite frightened.

my name is Edla willmansson , said the young girl, my father came home and said that you wanted to sleep here in the forge tonight, and then I asked permission to come and bring you home to us. I am so sorry captain that you are having such a hard time she looked at him compassionately , with her heavy eyes, and then she noticed that the man was afraid, either he has stolen something or else he has escaped from jail, she though and added quickly. you may be sure. captain that you will be allowed to leave us just as freely as you came only please stay with us over Christmas Eve, she said this in such a friendly manner that the rattrap peddler must have felt confidence in her. it would never have occurred to me that you would bother with me yourself ,miss he said”I will come at once.

he accepted the fur coat which the valet handed him with a deep bow, threw it over his rags, and followed the young lady out to the carriage, without granting the astonished blacksmith so such as a glace. but while he was riding up to the manor house he had evil forebodings why the devil did I take that fellow’s money? he though , now I am sitting in the trap and will never get out of it “the next day was Christmas eve, and when the Ironmaster came into the dining room for breakfast he probably thought with satisfaction of his old regimental comrade whom he had run across so unexpectedly first of all we must see to it that he gets a little flesh on his bones, he said to his daughter, who was busy at the table, and then we must see that he gets something else to do than to run around the country selling rattraps,

it is queer that things have gone downhill with him as badly as that, said the daughter last night I did not think there was anything about him to show that he had once an educated man, you must have patience my little girl said the father as soon as he gets clean and dressed up, you will see something different last night he was naturally embarrassed the tram manners will fall away from his with the tramp clothes, just as he said this door opened and the stranger entered yes, now he truly clean and well dressed the valet had bathed him, cut his hair, and shaved moreover he was dressed in a good-looking suit of clothes which belonged to the ironmaster, he wore a white shirt and a starched collar and whole shoes,

but although his guest was now well groomed, the ironmaster did not seem pleased he looked at him with puckered brow, and it was easy to understand that when he had seen the stranger fellow in the uncertain reflection from furnace it was impossible to mistake him for an old acquaintance. what does this mean? he thundered the stranger made no attempt to dissimulate he. saw at once the splendour had come to an end it is not my fault, sir he said , I never pretended to be anything but a poor trader, and I pleaded and begged to be allowed ton stay in the forge, but no harm has been done at worst I can put on my rags again and go away. well , said the ironmaster , hesitating a little , it was not quite honest, either you must admit, and I should not be surprised if the sheriff would like to have something to say in the metter.

The tramp took a step forward and struck the table with his fist Now I m going ton tell you, Mr ironmaster , how thing are, he said this whole world is nothing but a big rattrap, all the good things that are offered to you are nothing but cheese rinds and bits of pork set out to drag a poor fellow into trouble and if the sheriff comes now and locks me up for this, then you Mr, Ironmaster must remember that a day may come when you yourself may want to get a big piece of pork, an then you will get caught in the trap. the ironmaster began to laugh, that was not so badly said, my good fellow perhaps we should let the sheriff alone on Christmas Even, but now get out of here as fast as you can” but just as the man was opening the door, the daughter said, I think he ought to stay with us today, I don’t want him to go, and with that she went and closed the door.

what in the world are you doing? said the father. the daughter stood there quite embarrassed and hardly knew what to answer, that morning she had felt so happy when she thought how homelike and Christmassy she was going to make things for the poor hungry wretch, she could not get away from the idea all at once, and that was why she had interceded for the vagabond. I am, thinking of this stranger here, said the young girl, he walks and walks the whole year long, and there is probably not a single place in the whole country where he is welcome and can feel at home, wherever he turns he is chased away, always he is afraid of being arrested and cross-examined, I should like to have him enjoy a day peace with us here–just one in the whole year,


  1. slice–टुकड़ा
  2. preferred—पसंदीदा
  3. pouch–थैली
  4. stuffed–भरवां
  5. starched –कलफदार
  6. plod–घिसटते हुए चलना
  7. snare–फंदा
  8. gloom–उदासी
  9. queer–विचित्र
  10. intention—इरादा

The rattrap summary

the author gives the message that essential goodness in a human being can be awakened through sympathy, kindness and love this story is set in the iron ores of sweden where a poor old homeless man sells rattraps made by him out of the old wires that he cottage from different places, as this does not provide enough means, of survival , he resorts to begging and this every due to his loneliness he becomes philosophical and in this thoughts realized that the rattrap he sells the warldly joys and pleasures the riches and food are bait and any person who reaches for them gets thought of the people who were unkind to him as being trapped one evening he stopped at a cottage on the roadside, asking for shelter and instead at unkindness the, man at the cottage was warm and kind he gave the trap seller porridge tobacco and even played cards with him the next morning he told money the trap seller and the cottage owner but soon the trap seller returned to the cottage and stole the money he was happy at his overs smartness he avoided the highway because he feared being caught. and so diverted into the forest he got lost in it and kept on walking in the save part of the forest soon. he realized that the money was a bait for him and as he had taken it he was trapped and his death. had come, just as he lay down ,he heard thumping sound from a nearby iron mill he took shelter there and was resting when he iron master arrived as the trap seller was mistaken to be, an army colleague, the ironmaster and his daughter took him home for Christmas feast once the iron master realized his mistake, he threatened to hand over the trap seller to the police but the trap seller pleaded that. he had nexitated and refused the invitation and gave into his daughters request he shared, his thoughts with the ironmaster. that the word was a trap and that one day when he touched the bait, even he would get trapped in it like him the iron master asked him to leave but his daughter intervened and insisted on feel homelike and serve him good food,


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