Ok, I fixed it myself.
Here is what I did:
edit /etc/hosts.allow file
ALL: ALL – this allows access from everyone (change this later to be more secure)
change vsftpd to start on runlevels 3, 4, & 5
chkconfig –level 345 vsftpd on
start vsftpd service by issuing
/sbin/service vsftpd start
then try to log in with a userid/pass that is already set-up on the box. This should work. I will figure more out on the configuration of this for myself later.