Why can methods be overriden but attributes can't?

By declaring a method with a same name as parent class, you override it, that is, replace the original behaviour. But if you declare a field with a same name, you effectively hide it, making it inaccessible from that subclass, but only by super.field. See oracle docs on variable hiding, as well as using the keyword super. Note that it is not recommended to use variable hiding, as it creates exactly the kind of confusion you're experiencing.

By calling super.method(), printing this results in calling the toString method, which was in fact overridden - so that's the reason why it prints "Object B", as you've called the method on an instance of B. But the this in this.attr actually refers to the parent object, as you're calling the method from the parent class (by super.method())