snake oil salesman → stalking horse Where there is desperation, a snake oil salesman is nearby. After a long argument he became as mad as a wrongly shot hog.
John never has any money to spend. He is as poor as a church mouse. On this cold snowy night, taxis are as scarce as hen’s teeth.
No one likes him because he is sly as a fox. Thomas is overweight, he is as strong as an ox.
You won’t get him to go with you, because he’s as stubborn as a mule. He is using the girl in fact as a stalking horse.