Are you trying to connect to the VPN from the same LAN? I don't know if this applies to all VPN connections, but with the solution we have you can't authenticate if you are on the same physical network. I'm going to read through the Openswan documentation, I haven't heard of it before and I will actually be needing a Linux IPSec solution in the next few weeks so thanks for the post even though it's because you were having problems
I will try to have a better answer for you after I finish reading.
Edit: Unless I am missing something obvious, which very well could be, I believe that my original thoughts are correct. Since VPN is a tunneling protocol it does not appear to be possible for a tunnel to be made while you are on the same physical network. Hopefully someone with a greater expertise in this area can confirm or deny this. Then again I don't even know if you were trying to connect from the same network or not to begin with, so this entire post may just be a waste of your time.