The protagonist of the story is a peasant named Pahom, who overhears his wife and sister-in-law argue over the merits of town and peasant farm life. He thinks to himself "if I had plenty of land, I shouldn't fear the Devil himself!". Unbeknownst to him, Satan is present sitting behind the stove and listening. Satan abruptly accepts his challenge and also tells that he would give Pahom more land and then snatch everything from him. A short amount of time later, a landlady in the village decides to sell her estate, and the peasants of the village buy as much of that land as they can. He himself purchases some land, and by working off the extra land is able to repay his debts and live a more comfortable life.
(Excerpt from Wikipedia)