Answer: A. The dark man reveals that he helped Brown’s forebears persecute others.
According to the puritans, the woods were evil as a result of the presence of witches and Indians. They believed these people engaged in satanic rituals right in the forest. When the dark man revealed to Hawthorne that he played a role in the prosecution of others, Hawthorne was fascinated by the puritan past of the region. This could be because one of Hawthorne’s own ancestors was sentenced to death, the Salem witches.