The answer, for the merchant, trade, and professional classes, was that marriage was the key to achieving social, financial, and political adulthood. For example, a journeyman or tradesman who had completed his apprenticeship and could now support a wife endeavoured to coordinate the transition to master by marrying.
Elizabeth Abbott, A History of Marriage, 2010
1) BrE someone who buys and sells goods or services, especially in a shop
2) especially AmE someone who works at a job or trade that involves skill with your hands
3) BrE someone who goes to people’s houses to sell or deliver goods [LDCE]