I have been practicing "actual" woodworking as a hobby for only a short time now. At first, I was always telling people, "yeah I do woodworking on the side", like it made me cool or something.
In reality, all I was really doing was sanding and staining wood and calling it woodworking. Which I guess in a way it kind of is an extremely light version of woodworking...
It got me thinking, "what does it mean to be a woodworker"?
This infographic from Tools and Machinery offers a little clarification.
Woodworking is an expensive hobby. Literally, you can spend a few hundred dollars on chisels alone. It's best to buy a few tools at first that will allow you to get started.
For instance, I bought a sawzall for disassembling pallets, circular saw, a few chisels, and a palm sander. Eventually even a jigsaw. This will also cost you a few hundred dollars, but you can really create some cool stuff with only those tools.
There are so many woodworking tools, and most exist to do specific tasks easily. In reality, you can do a lot with a little, but with much more effort.
Check out this video from Jon Peters on what tools he recommends.
Well, hopefully that clears things up a bit, and maybe even inspired you to start woodworking as a hobby.
A little piece of advice, don't be intimidated. It takes a little courage to try anything new. Yet, with a little research and education, you can begin a hobby that provides real satisfaction.