"ironical Tishbite"

The Tishbite was the prophet Elijah who, in 1 Kings 18:27 in the Bible, describes the heathen god Baal as neglecting his duties. Hardy is keen to show that he sees no distinction between heathen gods and the Judao-Christian God. Both are as bad as each other in his book.

Tishbite is taken to mean "stranger".