1580s, hall, variant spelling of Middle English halen (see hale (v.)), representing a change in pronunciation after c.1200. Spelling with -au- or -aw- is from early 17c. Related: Hauled; hauling. To haul off "pull back a little" before striking or otherwise acting is American English, 1802.
1660s, "act of hauling," from haul (v.). Meaning "something gained" is from 1776, perhaps on notion of "drawing" a profit, or of the catch from hauling fishing nets. Meaning "distance over which something must be hauled" (usually with long or short) is attested from 1873.
[1776+; fr the contents of a fish net that is hauled]