(the dog), in Punchinello, wears a frill garnished with bells, to frighten away the devil from his master. This is a very old superstition. (See Passing Bell.)
The Chinese and other nations make a great noise at death to scare away evil spirits. “Keening” is probably based on the same superstition.
The high toby, the high-road, the low toby, the by-road. A highwayman is a “high tobyman;” a mere footpad is a “low tobyman.”
“So we can do a touch now ... as well as you grand gentlemen on the
high toby.” —
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894