Other than context, is there any way to know whether this means "I hit them" or "I meet them"? Although a bit unnatural, this could very well imply the latter.
It is one of those prepositional add-ons to a verb that changes the original verb's meaning. Buail means hit or beat, etc on its own but when used in conjunction with the preposition le its meaning becomes meet (with). There are a bunch of these idiomatic verb + prepositions meanings. I find if the verb's meaning doesn't make sense (other than humourous) then one should check and see if there is a preposition in use shortly after the verb which may change the verb's meaning.
In a variation of elifoxfly's question a few years ago - how would you say "I meet them in the middle of the day"?