You probably need to craft a convoy before you can trade anything. You can't really do much by approaching the homestead residents in the main game, pretty much everything is done though the crafting menu that is accessed through the book in the homestead or in shops in cities. The crafting and trading system in this game is quite complex so I'd refer to any of the several very good FAQs on this site for more details.
Eric (formerly er51 & er51 is back) GameFAQs. It's like an RPG with levels and trolls and everything. - Aquatakat on DOS/Windows General