What’s a blocking variable?
It is the variable you use to determine the different blocks.
For example in an experiment between cigarette smoking and blood pressure you might decide different blocks based on gender or age range.
Gender or age range in this case would be your blocking variables!
how is that different from stratas?
Stratified samples are a type of sampling method. Even if you stratify based on a characteristic, does not mean you account for every single variable!