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This is a Peter Pan reference. Captain Hook lost his hand to said crocodile, and he fears and hates the reptile.
As for why this particular crocodile is bothering the your hero here in this part of the universe is anyone's guess; perhaps your hero or heroine reminds the beast of someone he once ate.
Not very brutal as monsters go. Also known to be ashamed of itself, it sometimes claims not to tick or even be a crocodile at all.