The moss people or moss-folk (German: Moosleute, "moss-folk", wilde Leute, "wild folk"), also referred to as the wood people or wood-folk (Holzleute, "wood-folk") or forest-folk (Waldleute, "forest-folk"), are a class of fairy-folk, variously compared to dwarves, elves, or spirits, described in the folklore of Germany as having an intimate connection to trees and the forest. In German the words Schrat and Waldschrat are also used for a moss person. (Compare Old Norse skratti, "goblin".)
They are sometimes described as similar to dwarves, being the same size as children, "grey and old-looking, hairy, and clad in moss." In other descriptions they are said to be pretty or even have butterfly wings.
According to legend, these fairies would occasionally borrow items from people but would always compensate the owners generously. In certain myths, the moss folk would ask humans for breast milk to feed their young.
They were often but not always the object of the Wild Hunt. According to folklore, in order to escape the hunt they enter the trees that woodsmen have marked with a cross that will be chopped down.
The moss people are similar to hamadryads. Their lives are "attached to the trees; if any one causes by friction the inner bark to loosen a Wood-woman dies."