I've always loved the legend of Faust: the man who sells his soul to the devil for some sort of worldly gain. I read a couple of different short variations of Faust in school, my favorite of these being The Devil and Daniel Webster. Years later I saw that version of Faust reprised in an episode of the Simpsons; it has definitely made its way into the popular psyche. I think the story resonates because we have all been faced with the temptation for worldly gain at a price that would forever change who we are. We've even seen people take that road. How many people have traded innocence for acceptance, or decency for popularity? It is a choice that everyone is faced with, and (being sinners) on some level we all take the bait.
But what was the origin of the Faust legend? We can trace Faust-like characters, even under the name "Faust", back to medieval Germany. But I suggest that there is a much older Faust story in Judeo-Christian literature. The first story about selling our souls for worldly gain: Adam and Eve.