Hobgoblins are a type of creature found in European folklore. Inhabiting households, they are often depicted as small, hairy little men, who do odd jobs and chores around the house while the family is asleep.
Often benevolent, they may be compensated with food, but shun clothing. They are easily annoyed and like the closely related brownie, they enjoy mischievous pranks and practical jokes. In other media, they are sometimes depicted as far more antagonistic and dangerous than their origin.
Hobgoblins in Touhou
In Wild and Horned Hermit hobgoblins are brought to Gensokyo by Yukari Yakumo, as stand-ins for the emigrating zashiki-warashi. This, however, proves unpopular with the inhabitants of the Human Village, as the hobgoblins' grotesque appearance is a stark contrast to the childlike zashiki-warashi. When Kasen Ibaraki learns that the other youkai use household spirits to spy on humans, she and Reimu Hakurei "exterminate" the hobgoblins and drive them from the village.
After the zashiki-warashi return, the hobgoblins find employment at the Scarlet Devil Mansion.
- Wikipedia entry for Hobgoblin