帰ろうと歩き出す?

I was reading 雪女 and I came across this sentence:
“二人は仕方なく仕事をやめて帰ろうと歩き出しました。”
I get that it’s saying they stopped working and went home, but I don’t understand the conjugation of 帰ろうと歩き出す here. I don’t understand why 帰る is in volitional form or why it’s followed by と or how that connects to 歩き出す.

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Verb[volitional]とする - Japanese Grammar Explained | Bunpro

I know it’s not the same, but I think it’s not far from it.

I think the volitional here emphasises the reluctance while also stating the purpose. It could be written 二人は仕方なく仕事をやめて帰り始めました, but it does not carry the same nuance. Also the author could phrase it that way so that in another sentence they could interrupt them, so that finally they would not go home, because something else suddenly came up.

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Interesting! Seeing as they had no choice in the matter in the previous half of the sentence, implying that it was suden and unplanned, I would interpret the 帰ろうと as 帰ろう + と as a mini naration/quote - “they said/agreed mutually “Lets go””

https://bunpro.jp/grammar_points/よう-おう
https://bunpro.jp/grammar_points/と
https://bunpro.jp/grammar_points/だす

"The two had no choice but to stop work and (agreed to/lets) head back.

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bump

Can you post more context around the given quote?

Without context I would just take it to mean that they decided to head home (because they had to stop work). I.e., I read it as やめて (because of this stopping) 帰ろうと (let’s go home, modifying the 歩き出しました). Like, “Since they had no choice but to stop working they tried/decided to start walking home”. Without the volitional it would just be like “They had to stop working and then they went home and then they started walking” - basically a sequence and a bit weird, I guess.

Or, this is my thinking with no other context.

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The context: prior to this, the two lumberjacks were cutting wood like they do everyday when a blizzard started in an instant, forcing them to return early

I just don’t understand what grammar rule is being employed here with the 帰ろうと.

It is modifying 歩き出しました as I mentioned, I believe. See the “adverbial” uses in the two following links. I could be wrong here but that is how I read it.

If you just think about the meaning/logic without thinking about it as a “grammar point” then it may help.

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That first stackexchange link helped me understand it, thank you! It seems the original sentence is saying they are trying to get home by walking, though walking home would probably be a sufficient translation.

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