That's a courting stick -- a hollow, six-to-eight-foot wooden tube that the prospective lovebirds used to communicate in something approaching privacy while saying at a respectable distance, lest the Devil go in them and they start furiously holding hands or ankle 69ing, which is a thing. Meanwhile, to ensure that the young couple wouldn't just throw the stupid f*****g thing away and start going at it, the entire family lingered nearby, watching. Watching and scowling.
What makes this practice especially ridiculous is that, as we've previously mentioned, under their thin veil of chastity and marital sanctity, Puritans were actually total hornbags. With that in mind, I refuse to believe that they only used the courting stick to discuss riverside walks and Jesus. They totally used their primitive tin can telephone for low-rent sexting. Maybe they even sometimes managed to distract the eavesdropping family members by having a friend throw fake plague rats through the window halfway through the conversation, causing enough of a kerfuffle for them to move the tube a little lower and proceed to invent the term "b*****b."