The story of America's hobos is the story of America herself; many immigrants arrived with little more than their wits to rely on. Some were skilled craftsmen who simply could not find steady work, so they traveled from town to town seeking employment.
As railroad tracks were laid across the land, the hobo found it easier to travel from one job to another.
Of course, paying for each ride was out of the question. So hopping outbound trains became a way of life for many hobos.
Americans have always been a generous people and would often provide temporary shelter or a warm meal. The hobo usually would not accept charity, but would gladly work or "sing" for his supper.
A sad side to hobo life was old age; elderly hobos after years of living on the road found themselves without family and in failing health. Occasionally, an old hobo would luck upon a position as hired hand with a caring family. Although the job rarely paid more than room and board, it often meant the difference between life and death to the old hobo.
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