Someone who walks down the railroad tracks maybe? I think those wood slats are called cross ties.
Update: Okay I cheated, but found an explanation that makes sense:
it's a colorful desc
Not sure if it is correct, but I love the word Hobo so it's good enough for me!
It is a cross tie or board in railroad tracks and Cross-tie walkers are the homeless who roam the country. I love Creedence!
yeah, heartofglass nailed it. here be yo link'-o'-reference:
I googled the lyrics - the hobo desc
Creedence! Haven't played them in a while! I'm going to listen to I Heard it Through the Grapevine. Though technically that's not their song, but I like their performance of it!