According to The Traveling Adventures of a Farm Girl, Hobo Jack isn’t Sophir’s moniker of choice. That sobriquet, in fact, came from “American Pickers” host Mike Wolfe. Sophir shows no apparent preference for the nickname — on his official website, he bills himself by what seems to be another moniker entirely, “Backwoods Jack.” That’s why many of his works, such as his CD, are credited to “Backwoods Hobo Jack.” This combination of the two names splits the difference between the billing he’s famous for and the nickname he prefers to use.
Per a comment on a video of Sophir performing at the opening of Wolfe’s Antique Archeology shop in Nashville, Tennessee in 2011, he gained the name “Backwoods Jack” due to the locale of that cabin. “Buzz Potter and Captain Dingo asked me about who Jack really was and a little about him. I answered, “He lives by himself on a winding road in the backwoods.” They both smiled and said, “That’s it, Backwoods Jack,” said Bob Whiteside. Video Bob also claims that History came up with the Hobo Jack nickname, not Wolfe.
In a note on his official Facebook page, Sophir confirmed Video Bob’s story and added that he’d been performing as Backwoods Jack for 10 years at hobo festivals before receiving it as his official Hobo Road name at Marquette, Iowa, during a gathering. Any way you slice it, Backwoods Jack is a name that comes by honestly; per The Telegraph, he lives in a cabin with two dogs on his property, and the structure lacks running water or electricity. He does, however, use a generator when he needs it.