They can be considered the basic foot soldiers of outlaw bands alongside the bandit. Those with crossbows are considerably more threatening, especially if you've been weakened and are on your last legs health-wise.
They are still not much in a fight against sufficently trained and armored soldiers and cavalry (often even novices like mercenary nobles and faction noblemen) will often literally run circles around them and tear them to shreds if they become too scattered. If you want to field these men, field them in large numbers and plant them on the highground where they can put thier ranged weapons to use. They can be rescued, recruited from prisoners, or trained from bandits, and sadly are a dead end, but are at least better soldiers than bandits or outcasts and able to stand up against sellswords and if they outnumber them, armsmen.