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The peddler signed the letter as captain Von Stahle because he had been transformed by the girl's kindness and compassion . meeting the iron-master's was a turning point of the peddler because her unbridled kindness and concern and touched him deeply and spurred him to mend his ways . she convinced her father to allow him to stay on in  their house to share the Christmas cheer . she made him believe in himself again,treated him like a captain in the army though she was well aware of the fact that he was a common tramp . it was a token of appreciation for this treatment that he left the rattrap as a Christmas gift for the girls and enclosed a letter of thanks ,leaving behind the stolen money to be restored to the owner.the qualities of kindness and compassion could be a major transformative force for a person as the story illustrates.