c.1200, "petty merchant, peddler" (often contemptuous), from Middle Dutch hokester "peddler," from hoken "to peddle" (see hawk (v.1)) + agent suffix -ster (which was typically feminine in English, but not in Low German). Specific sense of "advertising salesman" is from 1946 novel by Frederick Wakeman. As a verb, from 1590s. Related: Huckstered; huckstering.
An advertising person or publicity agent: so the television hucksters can peddle their shaving cream
[1945+; popularized by the 1946 novel about advertising, The Hucksters, by Frederick Wake-man]