to Irish folklore a man named Jack, well known for his drunkenness and
quick temper, got very drunk at a local pub on All Hallows Eve. As his
life began to slip away, the Devil appeared to claim Jack's soul. Jack,
eager to stay alive, begged the Devil to let him have just one more
drink before he died. The Devil agreed.
Jack was short of money and asked the Devil if he wouldn't mind assuming the shape of a sixpence so Jack could pay for the drink and after the transaction the Devil could change back. The Devil agreed again to help Jack out and changed himself into a sixpence. Jack immediately grabbed the coin and shoved it into his wallet, which just happened to have a cross-shaped catch on it. The Devil, now imprisoned in the wallet, screamed with rage and ordered Jack to release him. Jack agreed to free the Devil from his wallet if the Devil agreed not to bother Jack for a whole year. Again, the Devil agreed to Jack's terms.
he now had a new lease on life, at least for a year, Jack decided to
mend his ways. For a time Jack was good to his wife and children and
began to attend church and give charity. Eventually Jack slipped back
into his evil ways. The next All Hallows Eve as Jack was heading home,
the Devil appeared and demanded that Jack accompany him.