| Quote #1
It was a warm and beautiful day for hitchhiking. To get out of the impossible complexities of Chicago traffic I took a bus to Joliet, Illinois, went by the Joliet pen, stationed myself just outside town after a walk through its leafy rickety streets behind, and pointed my way. All the way from New York to Joliet by bus, and I had spent more than half my money. (I.3.2)
Right from the outset of the novel, Sal is unable to properly manage his money.
| Quote #2
"During the depression," said the cowboy to me, "I used to hop freights at least once a month. In those days you’d see hundreds of men riding a flatcar or in a boxcar, and they weren’t just bums, they were all kinds of men out of work and going from one place to another and some of them just wandering." (I.3.14)
Poverty seems to be the one completely universal trait between all the characters that Sal meets on the road.
| Quote #3
His language was melodious and slow. He was patient. His charge was a sixteen-year-old tall blond kid, also in hobo rags; that is to say, they wore old clothes that had been turned black by the soot of railroads and the dirt of boxcars and sleeping on the ground. (I.4.9)
There is a certain camaraderie that arises from mutual poverty.