The fellow in the picture is the Krampus, a Bad Behavior Expert. He spends his time locating erring Bavarian children, and then either sweeps them away, or thrashes them with his birch switch. He deals with the Naughty, while St. Nicholas treats the Virtuous.
This is Krampusnacht, his night for delivering Correction. Sensible children quake.
His mission might also recommend improvement for our Readers- any who are tempted to stray, if such there be.