In most Steadings, Hamlets, and Villages, tradesfolk engage in the daily business of retailing their wares, but all of them will give time and space to the people who do the hardest work in the industry of trade: Peddlers and Traders. They won’t trust them, mind you, but they will give them their due.
Merchants are generally local folks who focus on the bulk purchase and trade of goods at scale. They do not generally travel, instead they organize, plan, and manage. The travelers are the Traders and the Peddlers, always licensed and bonded by the Guild and anyone they happen to serve (even if it is sometimes themselves).
Traders are the middlemen between Merchants, scattered across the world. Most Merchants are Masters or Grand Masters within the Merchant’s Guild, whereas Traders are often Novice, Yeomen, or Adepts. Through the connections they establish within the guilds, they monitor goods, prices and similar items and operate using their networks of Traders to acquire and transport the goods. It is very rare that you will find a Merchant on the road – those who are these are usually Traders.
Peddlers, however, are small retailers who combine both roles, but focus on the smaller locations, the hamlets and steadings, villages and smaller towns, that may not know about or have access to a merchant in their settlement, and who still crave delicacies and rare goods and fineries. Peddlers, then, are traveling salesmen, often those who are breaking out to start on their own or who just care about the smaller places they visit. Peddlers are often unable to sell in large towns and are pretty much blocked from it in big cities, although the nature of the business allows them ways to get around that.