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It's TERRIBLE practice, but if you absolutely must - edit the files /etc/vsftpd.ftpusers and /etc/vsftpd.user_list and remove the 'root' line from each file. Linux tried to make it hard for you to do crazy things without knowing about it.
Assuming permissions on the home directory are correct, maybe SELinux is interfering with it. You'd get this error if SELinux wasn't properly configured for the service. You can check for this by disabling SELinux - edit /etc/selinux/config and set
Is there any hardware between you and the FTP server? Something like a router? That kind of behavior (make the connection but can't see the directory) happens frequently when the FTP client and server can use the ports for login, but can't make the connection for data. You might want to look at this to understand how FTP works, and how hardware like a router can cause problems.