Ratpoison doesn't come with any system tray by default (unlike stumpwm, which has mode-line).
Why you need a f*cking systray? you ask... Well, in my laptop I need nm-applet to connect to my wifi.
Lately, I found that using stalonetray and nm-applet is the best combination. No need for gnome, or fancy configurations.That's all it takes to have it working and not bothering you. It's amazing how easy it is, and how long I postponed this migration falling back to gnome.
unmanage stalonetray exec Downloads/stalonetray-0.8.1/src/stalonetray exec nm-applet
I just discovered this other systray app. I never tried it, but I think it's worth a try.