It actually has nothing to do with that. Instead, it literally means "courtyard flea markets." In other words, it's a yard sale, German style. Since a lot of city dwellers don't have much room here, much less a full-on yard, people sometimes offer yard sales in the courtyard/parking area of their apartment building.
When I was visiting Nürnberg, a neighborhood hosted a sale and we bopped from Hof to Hof to see what was for sale. It was mostly your typical garage sale stuff, such as outgrown clothes, children's toys, and other ephemera. One particularly interesting Hof had prints from a photographer for sale, but all the other items were pre-owned.
Some cities even publish guides with the dates that the neighborhoods choose to host the sales as a group; Nürnberg is such a city, explained my newly made friend who showed me around.
|Shoppers at a Hofflohmarkt|