Hobo spiders can be dangerous if you are bitten--so it's important to be able to identify hobo spiders properly, especially if they like to live near your home!
To identify a hobo spider properly, consider your location. Hobo spiders generally live in the western United States, and are not often found on the east coast. In this map, that's the red section.
Another great way to identify the hobo spider is by where you find it. The hobo spider very rarely climbs a vertical surface, they are usually found running around in the basement or a similar environment, so you're unlikely to see one up high. They spin very messy webs.
If you have one handy, take a picture of that hobo spider with your camera phone. This will help you identify it as a hobo spider, or just some harmless variety.
Once you've got a picture of the hobo spider, you can begin to identify. The spider is brown, and a larger spider (usually 1-2 inches) in leg span. The hobo spider can be identified by it's "V" like markings on its back. Male hobo spiders also have a large mouth piece that can look like two extra small legs.
Another helpful way to identify hobo spiders is by what you observe them doing. Hobo spiders spin messy webs, and crawl around at night. Often times they come inside your house to find a warm place to stay for the winter.
Hobo spiders are generally not aggressive, but also have very bad eye sight. It's best not to take your chances.