A hobgoblin is a creature from folklore. Little is known about them but they apparently instilled fear in others.
Jason Philip Macendale chose the hobgoblin as his modus operandi when he became the supervillain Hobgoblin. He explained to Alistair Smythe that he wanted people to be afraid of him before he killed them.
In actual folklore, hobgoblins are small, hairy men who play pranks and are mischievous, but not particularly fear-inspiring.