Once upon a time, Nick Chopper was a young man in love. He cut wood for a living. He expected to get married, settle down and have kids. He expected a pretty normal life or least as normal a life as one can have in the Land of Oz.
Unfortunately he ran afoul of Rebecca, the Witch of the East. And she arranged him to run afoul of his axe. Several times.*
There aren’t a lot of depictions of Nick prior to his transformation into the Tin Woodman. The only one I’m aware of is by John R Neill for The Tin Woodman of Oz. And, chronologically, the illustration still takes place after Nick got chopped up. It’s in the chapter The Tin Woodman Talks to Himself. I love that chapter.
* See March of the Tin Soldiers for the details. And the 21st century aftermath.