Ding, more commonly known as "Old Man Ding", was a resident of a small Fire Nationvillage. This old codger was the only person in the village who managed to escape the "moon monster" which captured people when they ventured into the woods during the full moon.
While Ding was wandering through the woods one night during a full moon, Hama attempted to kidnap him, utilizing bloodbending, and bring him to a prison she had set up underneath a mountain. However, by the time Ding had reached the cave entrance, the sun had risen, breaking Hama's hold over him. Having regained control of his body, he ran back to the village.
In the summer of 100 ASC, while Aang, Sokka, and Toph were gathering information about the alleged spirit that had been abducting the village people, a traveling townsman directed them to "Old Man Ding", stating that he was the only one to have ever seen it and lived. Ding then recounted the story of his near kidnapping to the group. Since his narrow escape, he prepared for each full moon by boarding up his home and taking refuge. Later, Team Avatar rescued the other victims of Hama and had her arrested for her actions, freeing Ding's town.
Ding (丁) is a traditional southern Chinese surname and one of the Hundred Family Surnames. It is also the simplest family name, as it is composed of only two strokes.
While other sixty-year-old characters in the series were usually shown to be physically strong or at least average strength master benders, Old Man Ding was shown to be the physically weakest of all, as he had trouble lifting up a wooden board.
Ding did not understand why people always called him an "old man", but when he failed to lift a wooden board, he admitted that he was at least "young at heart".