The Tomte is one of the most familiar creatures of Scandinavian folklore. From the fairytales of Hans Christian Anderson to the Tomten poem by Viktor Rydberg and the artwork of Jenny Nystrom, the tomte/nisse is in so many ways a part of the Scandinavian mythological soul. The tomte was considered to be the very first inhabitant of the farm and helped care for the farm animals and assisted with the general welfare of the land.
The Tomte was an honest fellow. He has been depicted as a very small person with a long beard and dressed as a farmer. Although small in stature, he is not weak, and according to Scandinavian folklore his caring spirit and worthiness was believed to help protect his house and home.