Scandinavian culture has long embraced woodworking. This makes sense, seeing as it's an area rich with lumber and the high-quality steel with which to shape it. From the Swedish Dala Horse and the beautiful medival stave churches of Norway, to the legendary Viking dragon-ships, the Swedish, Norse, and Finnish people, as well as the native Sami and Laplanders, really know wood.
The spiktrollet (literally: carved troll), or spike troll, as I've roughly anglicised it, is Norwegian. Norway's departments of Culture and Forestry came together with this design in order to promote the tradition of whittling. The spiktrollet is offered as an entry-level carving, simple enough for a beginner to make from any small branch.
As always, green wood carves more quickly, but dry wood can also make a great troll. I like to finish them with a Sharpie face and a painted hat. For clothing they wear their natural bark.