As the marital disagreement at the heart of Robert Frost’s poem implies, homelessness is a slippery concept, not simply as a sociological term, but also in its moral connotations. The diametrically opposed readings of homelessness can seem possible, even interchangeable: a homeless figure can be portrayed as a reckless villain or a pitiful victim, an urban renegade, or someone’s lost child. As Frederick Feied noted in his study of the hobo in US literature, ‘bawdy verse and story, celebrating the life of the homeless migrant’ have existed since the Middle Ages. Although in each era the figure is shaped by the politics of the times, it retains the double perspective offered by rootlessness and rooflessness: a freedom to ‘dream and wander’, with the potential to critique or threaten the established order, and yet, at the same time, a stark bodily vulnerability and acute socio-economic disempowerment.