I came to file an issue about this same behavior. To clarify: when you configure the Git plugin to check out code, you can specify a credential and that works fine. The problem is that this credential is not provided to the polling session, so unless a valid private key exists in $HOME/.ssh, polling will fail with a permission denied error.
I don't know if it matters, but in our case we are disabling fast remote polling b/c we want to ignore certain paths while polling.
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