This story is told by Theodor Fischer, a boy who lives in a small Austrian village and quietly exists with his friends, relatives and community. One day a stranger appears in the village and befriends Theodor and his chums. He tells them that his name is Satan and he is the nephew of "the Satan". He is capable of all types of magic, predictions and apparitions that he reveals in various ways to the boys. But throughout the story Satan expels his wisdom on the character and futility of mankind.
While this work contains the wit and humor typical of Mark Twain, the story line is considered a serious social commentary on Twain's criticism of organized religion.