Do start a command and stream the stdin and stdout/stderr over a socket. The htremote do act as a server, which could be read line by line. For example httest could start interactive program with htremote and control it with __ and _READLINE.
htremote -p8888 -c"./htproxy -p8080 -dfoo"
The htproxy's shell is now accessible over network. I use this to test htproxy with the httest. Have a look in the test directory of the httest tar ball.