Someone found this in a barn and brought it to the local museum. The total length is 14 3/4 inches and the cutting edge is 2 1/2 inches wide. I didn't measure the step / offset but it is about 2 inches. It might not even be a wood working tool.
It could be for chiseling a flat surface. The offset gets the operator's hands above the surface to be chiseled in order to protect the knuckles. I believe casket gouges are made with a similar handle offset.
I think tom g is right. I have pictures or these tools factory made. This one was home made in bs shop . The handle gives it away. Tells me that is not a barking spud even though it could be used for such work.
Thanks for the replies. Unfortunately the local horse farrier historian passed away a few years back so I guess I will have to see if the library has anything on farrier tools that were used in earlier times. Another person thought it was a farrier tool but a fellow that was at our local agricultural fair claimed it was for cleaning out mortises when building barns. I feel that the way it is shaped that it wouldn't work for that. I tend to think it is a farrier tool myself but I would like to see an illustration of how it was used.