On New Year's Eve, 1863, Theodore Gilbert meets Jack Murphy, a suave man, while Theodore fears his pregnant wife may die during delivery. Murphy offers a solution, and Theodore dies. In 1888 in L'Ascension, Quebec, lumberjack Jos Lebel is in a romantic relationship with Theodore's grown daughter Liza Gilbert. Jos and a group of lumberjacks then set out to work in the Quebec wilderness. The group is eager to spend the holiday with their loved ones, when they meet Murphy, who is really the Devil in Christianity. The men make a Faustian deal with Murphy to return home, employing a flying canoe.