This is a pretty good book I'm reading about people who hoboed and tramped all across America looking for work back in the 30's. I didn't realize how many were teenagers and younger, like 20-25%. Some as young as 8 years old, turned out by their parents because they couldn't fend for them anymore or runaways from orphanages who were trying to get away from the beatings and abuse.
Anyway, it wasn't all doom and gloow. Lots of them rode the rails just to see the country and experience a world different from their own.
One story was pretty good. A bunch of bums were standing around , couldn't find work, flat broke and hungry when a guy came along and told them he needed a big ditch dug and would hire all of them for 50 cents an hour. They thought that was a heck of a deal as they were all broke.
After digging for several hours another guy came along and wanted to know just what in the Sam Hill they were doing digging a ditch in the yard of the insane asylum. Turns out the guy who hired them not only didn't have the athority to hire anybody but he was , in fact, a patient at the ward.