Questions regarding those words or particles that function similarly to the set of English adjectives and pronouns including "that", "these", "this", and "those".

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Why 罪人=犯罪者のこと、not just 犯罪者?

I was reading a guide to 刑事ドラマ and 時代劇場. Most of the definitions follow the format: 真犯人:本当の犯人。 盗人・盗賊:他人の物を盗む人。 However for one or two words such as 「罪人」 it says: ...