Joe (Glenn Ford), a clerk in New York City, hits the road to claim the land he bought in Arizona. But having spent all of his savings on the land, he must hitchhike. He meets a drifter named Tony (Nicholas Conte) and then Spanish refugee Anita (Jean Rogers). Together the three run into the "Professor" (Raymond Walburn), an erudite hobo. The quartet travel across the country, getting into scrapes, avoiding the police and encountering others hit hard by the Great Depression.