Eliza, the late ‘60s was a time when young Canadians liked to spend the summer travelling around the country, often hitch-hiking. So many were doing it that school gyms and church basements were opened to provide hostel space. In big cities and in tourist towns like Stratford, patrolling cops looked for young folks on the street, especially if they had rucksacks and sleeping bags. Hitch-hiking was technically illegal, and wandering kids also had a tendency to beg — also illegal. (The Criminal Code included both behaviours in its definition of the offence of vagrancy.)
So the Stratford cops were just deciding whether to bust you.