A safety or emergency flare, intended for use when your automobile broke down at night. This thing was covered with stamped patent numbers!
Update July 8, 2015. I stumbled across this image on Etsy:
These flares certainly look like mine, so it is probably "Another Trukflar" from the Anthes Force Oiler Company of Fort Madison, Iowa. They made a number of interesting items, including a metal holder for storing automotive lamp bulbs: See Uncle Atom. The firm was wrapped up in 1960, merging with the Gleason Corporation of Milwaukee.