So the other day I was getting this issue of "Connection refused" when trying to connect my eclipse debugger to the tomcat localhost with jpda enabled. Try these suggestions:
1) some sites online suggest to add this line at the end of the startup.bat file
call "%EXECUTABLE%" jpda start %CMD_LINE_ARGS%
The above setting may not work because the values are overidden in the catalina.bat file. So the best way would be to change the values in the catalina.bat file as following
if not ""%1"" == ""jpda"" goto noJpda
if not "%JPDA_TRANSPORT%" == "" goto gotJpdaTransport
if not "%JPDA_ADDRESS%" == "" goto gotJpdaAddress
2) First ensure that the jpda is listening at the specified port. When tomcat starts with joda enabled it spits out a line of this sort "Listening for transport dt_socket at address: 8000". This line ensures that jpda is started. Make sure you are specifying the similar attributes to eclipse. My eclipse version only allows a connection type of socket so dt_socket was the only option for me.
3) On Windows it may indicate that the Windows Firewall is blocking the connection (it may not notify you of the blockage, even if configured to do so). Go to Control Panel / Windows Firewall / Exceptions / Add Port, and set Name = remote
debugging, Port = 8000, TCP.