In your message to me, you said that you think John starts out from Erie, PA. I think that he cannot possibly have come from that far away.
Here's what we know. His ultimate destination is New York City. He is going east to get there. He travels eight days. All of this time, as far as I can tell, he is walking.
From the hiking I have done, I find it hard to believe that anyone would be able to go more than say 20 miles in a day, especially someone who, like John, has to hunt his food and presumably cook it too.
Even if you give him 25 miles a day, that's only 200 miles and that is way shorter than the distance from Erie to New York. So I'd say give him somewhere between 15 and 20 miles a day and pick a town. It should be somewhere 120-160 miles from NYC.
If you know where the highway ran in the old days (this was written in 1937) pick a town along there. Defend your answer by talking about how far a person can walk in a day.