"The Rattrap" by Selma Lagelöf (short story) tells about a story of a rattrap seller, who thinks the world as a rattrap.

It's a fun story, but what I fail to understand is why, at the end of the story, the rattrap seller signs the letter as " Captain Von Stahle", and how exactly being treated like a captain helped him get out of the Rattrap.

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At the start of the story, the peddler thinks of the world as a rat trap, where everything that is good, any seeming luxury or kindness, is just bait for a trap. While with the ironmaster's family, he is treated with kindness with no ulterior motive, particularly by Edla, and even after he is found out, she continues to treat him with kindness. At the end of the story, he now sees the his cynicism is what has trapped him. He signs the letter under the name of the Captain, who the family believes to be a noble and upright character, because now he knows that he can be that better person.

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