BUM is also used to mean someone who is worthless, never does anything constructive, etc. A bum avoids work. He bums or begs money. (I remember a bum asking me if I had any food. I gave him one of two sandwiches I had made for lunch. He looked at it and said, "Oh, I don't like that kind of sandwich." I guess he wanted steak, lobster and wine. LOL) A "beach bum" is someone who spends all waking moments at the beach without a visible means of support. TO BUM = to acquire without work. (Can I bum you out of a cigarette? I spent six months bumming around the South, living where and how I could.)
TRAMP is often used incorrectly to mean bum or beggar. A true tramp likes to travel, and he will work for food, a place to sleep, etc. Some migrant workers are tramps, and they will follow the harvests, looking for work and seeing the country. Many times he simply is unemployed and without a home to call his own. When/If he finds a good job, he will remain and work. TRAMPS have no respect for BUMS. TRAMP is often used in the sense of vadia, a woman without morals. A TRAMP STEAMER is a sailing ship without a specific route that will take freight to a port, look for another shipment and go to its destination, and then find another job going to yet another port. A SADDLE TRAMP is a cowboy who works for a time, goes to another ranch for a while, continues to another location, etc.
A HOBO is much like a tramp. He will work, but his main interest is in enjoying life as the travels from place to place. This is not a temporary thing but a way of life. A HOBO JUNGLE is an encampment of hobos, often near railroad tracks. The railroad is often used as a means of illegal transportation from job to job, town to town. To get on on a train illegally is TO HOP A TRAIN, TO HOP A FREIGHT, etc. To ride on a train without paying is TO RIDE THE RODS. A HOBO is the name of a special pocket knife that has a fork, a knife blade, and sometimes a spoon. A HOBO STOVE is a very simple stove usually made from an empty tuna can. HOBO KELLY was one of the most popular and beloved clowns in the USA.