I'll serve him out—give a quid pro quo. This is the
French server, to do an ill turn to one.
To serve a rope.
To roll something upon it to prevent it from being fretted. The
“service” or material employed is spun yarn, small lines, sennit,
ropes, old leather, or canvas.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894