Originally Posted by Ea
He is Lucifer, God's adversary and a part of God's plan. A different interpretation of the devil than simple evil. Mephistopheles in Goethe's Faust is also not pure evil. It could be interesting to look into how the devil is represented in the Russian-Orthodox church.
Probably like this
Lucifer (bringer of light) toward the end of the novel is depicted with the sweetness of an angel, like he was, the closest to God. He is not out to corrupt and enslave souls, but to be agent in a redemption plan. There is plenty of damned souls, but they do not belong to him. He actually sets up their entertainment. They homage the Queen, not him. At the end he and his gang go to the hill and wait for further instructions from above.
Woland/Lucifer is very different from the Devil in the picture. As all the workings of the arcane are different from what the tradition says.