This story may give some insight into how the legend of a strange creature might evolve.
In the folklore of Merseyside there is a tradition of a nocturnal creature called a Galosher. Though he prowls by night, he doesn't seem to do any real harm. He may give you a fright ot even steal a bottle from your hand, but that's the sum of it.
The origin of the Galosher seems quite straightforward. The term was originally applied to lamplighters, who went around after nightfall lighting gaslamps,before the advent of electricity, to light the streets. When the lamplighters ceased to operate, their memory lived on in a strange, though harmless, creature who gadded about by night.
The name probably comes from lamplighters' wearing galoshes rather than shoes, so they would not disturb sleeping persons.