Stalk"ing-horse (?), n.
A horse, or a figure resembling a horse, behind which a hunter conceals himself from the game he is aiming to kill.
Fig.: Something used to cover up a secret project; a mask; a pretense.
Hypocrisy is the devil's stalking-horse under an affectation of simplicity and religion.
How much more abominable is it to make of him [Christ] and religion a stalking-horse, to get and enjoy the world!
© Webster 1913.