The messages that Washington Irving is teaching to the audience with his story, "The Devil and Tom Walker," is greed can lead to corruption and do things for the right reasons. The main character, Tom Walker, has issues with following both of these ideas. Both Tom and his wife were greedy to the point that they would hide valuables from each other. Their ultimate form of greediness that was shown is their pact made with the devil for money. Tom had the audacity to go to church and yet, he had such a desire for money, he would still take money from innocent people. Tom's greediness and immoral values ultimately lead to his demise.
Greed was one of the most influential parts of the story that led to the conclusion of being taken by the devil. On page 314, the audience discovers that Tom's wife hides objects of value so she does not have to share. "Whatever the woman could lay hands on, she hid away." Later on page 319, the readers find out that Tom is the exact same way as his wife. He did not take the offer from the devil at first because he knew whatever he got from the devil, he would have to share with his wife. When she went missing, he finally took the deal since he would no longer have to share. From page 321-22, Irving tells the readers that even after Tom became wealthy, he still refused to decorate parts of his house and starved his horse. Because he was so cheap, his house looked horrible and his horse died. On page 323 a customer of Tom's said that he was taking advantage of him. Tom stated "the devil take me if I have made a farthing!" Not only is Tom showing his greed, but he is also lying. As he states this, the devil comes and takes him away. Irving's message on greed is, it can lead to corruption and your ultimate demise.
Tom showed many examples of his immoral values throughout the story. In the middle of the story on page 320, the devil asked him to guide a slave ship and Tom refused because it was morally wrong.