According to Wikipedia, The Rat, the first of the 12-year cycle of animals in Chinese Zodiac, "was welcomed in ancient times as a protector and bringer of material prosperity", and "is associated with aggression, wealth, charm, and order, yet also with death, war, the occult, pestilence, and atrocities".
Rat people "are leaders, pioneers and conquerors. They are charming, passionate, charismatic, practical and hardworking. They are endowed with great leadership skills and are the most highly organized, meticulous, and systematic of the twelve signs. Intelligent and cunning at the same time, rat people are highly ambitious and strong-willed people who are keen and unapologetic promoters of their own agendas, which often include money and power".
If you are interested in reading more, here is the whole thing. If you are a fan of Chinese Astrology, here are some sites for you:
Wish everyone a very prosperous new year.