E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
To go poking about, meddling and making, in a listless, purposeless manner. Pudder, podder, pother, bother, and puddle are varieties of the same word. To pudder is to stir with a puddering pole; hence, to confuse. Lear says of the tempestMay the great gods that keep this dreadful pudder oer our head, meaning confusion. To puddle iron is to stir it about with a puddering-pole.