In popular tourist spots you’ll be approached, sometimes surrounded, by touts or transport drivers who get a commission from guesthouses for bringing in potential guests. While it is annoying for the traveller, this is an acceptable form of advertising among small-scale businesses in Thailand. As long as you know the drill, everything should work out in your favour.
Touts get paid for delivering you to a guesthouse or hotel (whether you check in or not). Some places refuse to pay commissions, so in return the touts will steer customers away from those places (saying it is closed or burned down). In less scrupulous instances, they’ll tell you that the commission-paying hotel is the one you requested. If you meet with resistance, call the guesthouse for pick-up, as they are often aware of aggressive business tactics.