beat a pathway for himself with his stick

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Senior Member
Ukrainian & Russian
He set down his basket of tools, picked up the scrap of offal, beat a pathway for himself with his stick, and got over the hedge. They walked in parallel lines, one on each bank of the stream, towards the small plank bridge.
(T. Hardy: Jude the Obscure)

Would you be so kind to explain to me what exactly he did with his stick?

Does it have something to do with this?

beat a path through sth
to form a path in an area where long grass or bushes grow closely together, by hitting the plants with your hands or an object, or by stepping on them

Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary 3th. Ed.

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