Hpricot Strange behaviour

I have a rather strange problem !!

I am using hpricot as an XML parser in my ruby/rails application
In my local mac developing environment (rails 2.3.2, ruby 1.8.6, msql
2.7, hpricot 1.8.1) everything works fine.
However, when I deployed my application on a shared linux server using
the same hpricot, rails and ruby version hpricot does not work any
My XML file is an UTF8 file with some special characters (åäö). It has
been generated from an ansel file. On the server hpricot missis tags
that are present in the XML file.
The XML file has some strange line breaks, but that works locally.

I try to get out the information using the following calls to hpricot

 source= (xml/"/gedcom/HEAD/SOUR").inner_text.nil_or.to_s #SOURCE

version=(xml/"/gedcom/HEAD/GEDC").inner_text.nil_or.to_s #VERSION
version+= (xml/"/gedcom/HEAD/CHAR").inner_text.nil_or.to_s
source_file= (xml/"/gedcom/HEAD/FILE").inner_text.nil_or.to_s
description= (xml/"/gedcom/HEAD/NOTE").inner_text.nil_or.to_s

but it can only find source. It finds file_created_at but the
inner_text expands over many tags. It also finds contributor but
then the inner_text consists of th whole file.
Note, that i my local environment the code works without problems

Any idees, any suggestion ???
I would appreciate any help ?

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