The early common law, from which our present law has evolved, classifies persons on land into three basic categories: trespassers, licensees, and invitees. The classification determines the standard of care that is owed to these persons. The standard of care is a duty imposed upon the landowner because he is in control of his land, is presumed to know all about his land and any dangers or possible dangers that may exist, and is best able to prevent any harm to others. A "social guest" can fit into all three of the categories, as a trespasser, a licensee, or an invitee.
Burt C. Siebert, Landowner's Responsibility to a Social Guest, 16 Clev.-Marshall L. Rev. 312 (1967)