Hey Rob. I don't think that the tool pictured in 938 has anything to do with elephants, though similar looking tools are used in that application. Here's a link that shows various types of elephant hooks.The second tool picture, 938a, has Chinese or Japanese writing on the butt of the handle, and Asian elephants are predominantly from areas where Chinese writing would be unusual to find.
My main reason for believing the tool had another origin and purpose is because I owned one that was identical to the tool pictured in 938, except for the cross-hatching on the handle. It's pretty weird to see a tool you own pop up in one of your "What Is it?" quizzes! I'd picked it up when I bought an estate tool collection. The collection has tools that I'm still trying to figure out, but all of them are of American or English origin. The hook had a tag that said it was a pickaroon, used for handling smaller logs - maybe as in firewood as someone else suggested. Here's Lee Valley's version:
I demonstrated some antique tools at a local country fair a couple of years back, and the pickaroon was a favorite. It was _fun_ to give a quick flick and have it stick into the end of a log. Made manhandling a log a breeze. I really don't think you could design a better tool for that application.
Anyway, thought you'd like another opinion. Take it for what it's worth.R