If someone run past you and some chasing him with weapons ask you if you saw him or not, seeing the danger that he is in you might want to lie but if you do not lie he might get hurt.
While lying is deceit, if it saves a life, can that not be considered a wholesome act?
Recently while visiting one of the Sea Shepherd ships, I noticed a Buddhist statuette that was gifted from the Dalai Lama. While the sea shepherd ships stand between whales and other species that need their protection, the Dalai Lama himself is quoted as saying, in reference to Sea Shepherd tactics, 'when protecting life, it is not a [sin] to cause damage, as the life is more valuable'.
I would consider this to be in the same league as lying to someone who is going to cause serious injury or death. You are protecting life.
In Buddhist teachings it is the intention that is of utmost importance in may areas of life decisions.
If your boss call you and ask if one of your Co-workers said something bad about the boss, you will have to be truthful but in doing so you break a precept as you are using your word to make two people dislike each other.
This would be the equivalent of 'gossip' I would say. I have been put in this situation before and my answer was "the two of you need to sort your own business out and not involve others".
In these kind of situations can we imagine some other thing and answer thinking i'm answering in reference to my imagination and skip the breaking of precepts?
Like saying i did not saw the man who ran away, thinking "There is no such being called me in reality, also there is no man who ran away in reality either"?
This would be very bad for you. At the end of the day your 'intention' is deception when you think this way. This can form a bad habit as you deceive yourself even more than you deceive the other people. As my example above, you don't have to lie, there are always other options.
For example, with the man chasing the other man, you could ask him instead "what is wrong" "can I help you", maybe he is chasing a man who hurt his child, or a robber. There are many options to be considered, and delving into the situation to gain better understanding would be better than deceiving yourself.