Where does the word “Footpad” come from and What does Footpad mean?

That brave hero Robin Hood was one, that is, a highwayman who, having no horse, pads along on foot to hold up and rob people in carriages or on horseback.

Or, let us say, Robin might have been called one, had he lived in the seventeenth century, for it was then that the term footpad came into use, during a long period of great destitution throughout Europe and when governmental authority was ineffective. (See also slyboots.)