If that doesn’t work, challenge him to a thumb wrestling match. Put both of your hands on top of it and then pull one back.
If all else fails, stop pussyfooting around and take his hand! Just do it quickly and confidently without looking at your hands.
If this is a date or a prearranged meeting, you can be sure he likes you and is there for you. This is totally appropriate behavior for a lady being escorted by a gentleman at any age.
It will make him feel like a man and will initiate physical contact.
You can be in a crowd, as long as you are anonymous strangers to the people around you.