If it was somehow still registered to their Apple ID, yes. Without knowing specifically how they handed over the iPod, it's impossible to tell. Always follow the official Apple guide when trading equipment, especially turning off Find My iPhone.
Unfortunately, there's probably nothing you can do. Apple will remove activation lock only under the following conditions, which you don't meet:
Officially Remove Activation Lock steps are documented by Apple at
In a nutshell, the various ways to remove iCloud Activation Lock
- Apple will remove the lock if they can verify the original purchaser is requesting the action.
- Self-service removal if you can authenticate as the iCloud account that placed the lock on that device.
- Business using DEP can often use their MDM to remove the lock as a self-service action without needing Apple to be involved.
For consumers, you will likely need to make an appointment at an Apple
Store and provide the Genius on-hand proof of purchase (to show you're
the authorized owner) along with proof of identity and they will reset
Activation Lock, giving you access to the device.
For businesses, it depends if you are enrolled in DEP - Apple's
Device Enrollment Program or just want to provide copies of the
original purchase listing serial numbers to verify ownership.
If you bought the device second hand, stole it, found it or came to
possess the device by some means other than buying it from Apple
directly, then you will probably need the original owner to show proof
of purchase, etc. They will then transfer the device to your account
or simply disable Activation Lock.
The only self-service way to remove the lock if you can't type your
password into the device itself is to authenticate at
https://icloud.com and remove the activation lock when the device is
not connected to the internet.