Taking a slight detour after work or during conveniently scheduled activities would easily beat chasing down some random person in the neighborhood, driving to some backwater location or taking a day off to avoid the former troubles without certainty it will actually work.
True, but in my crowded area (central Berlin) the problem is time - ring the bell, wait for the person to come down the stairs (or climb them yourself), take the signature, get back. Just dumping a "didn't meet you" postcard takes 15 seconds, the real deal 2-3 minutes.
Lets take a somewhat different approach: default delivery to a logistics station strategically placed at a crossing of high volume public transport and easy car access.
You've got this in German towns: there are automated delivery stations, parcels get put in, you get there, type in your secret code and get your parcel 24/7. I don't use it as it's a job killer and jobs are scarce enough around here.