Back in the day, peasants did not go to offices to work, they were farmers and herders.
In villages, the peasants who lived there usually farmed and took care of animals. They were not reliant on the government at all. For example, nowadays if the electricity is turned off by our government, then we could do nothing about it. This would affect me because all of my work relies on electricity. Villagers had everything they needed and could at any moment take breaks from their labor, unlike modern workers. Farmers grew wheat, herbs, and other plants on their farms.
Herders were the people who raised sheep, cows, and pigs. They were quite wealthy because the meats of the sheep and the cows that they took care of were expensive. Even knights did not have so much money to afford sheep meat, except on rare occasions.