That feeling you had when you awoke, of energy and ideas I'm sure also made you feel stronger, smarter or faster. You've probably felt that quite a bit throughout your adventure. But do you really think you're the only one that feels such a sensation? While you were resting in a walled city that highwayman has been living off the land, combating roving Daedric bands, hostile wildlife and Imperial patrols. That is no simple Highwayman. It's a hardened warrior who has perfected his skills alongside you. And whereas you have spent time master the art of Speaking to people, buying stuff for cheap and jumping around funny that Highwayman has been forced to dedicate his life to mastering arts that allow him to survive in such a world.
Simply put the Oblivion Crisis has killed off everyone not skilled enough to survive it's onslaught. And everyone left outside the safety of city walls have become hardened killers. So I suppose in a sense it is the intervention of the Daedra that has lead to this.