Many people regard hobos as down-and-out bums, but in this painting, Delaney reminisced about the social conviviality of the life of a hobo with multiple vignettes.
"Somehow I thrill more to the tune of hobos singing John Henry on a freight train going down Mingo Hollow in West Virginia on a dark night and the still flow of the Virginia River, or the first ring of John Henry's hammer whooping that man's steel, spikes, iron ... You talk about music. I cannot stress the point - something about being on the road, especially when those coal cars are winding their way up and down the slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia while smoke of the engine filters through the pine and thick brush on the mountainsides. To have a thrill of this when you are young and wild can't be matched with the best opera or any other put-together entertainment." 49