There's an empty file called Icon^M occasionally in my directories. I guess this stuff predates OSX, and it's a file that gets created by the finder to be backward compatible with OS 9. Yet, this is my guess. I tried to google, but given the name, I had some trouble finding something meaningful (in the sense that it explain what the file is and where it comes from, historically).
If you have any reference at hand I would enjoy learning this bit of lore.