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I found that this error was caused by the SELinux context of /etc/hosts, which was set incorrectly (by me or by Packstack). As a result, qemu was unable to access /etc/hosts, and consequently couldn't resolve the hostname of the destination compute node.

This was particularly difficult to find, since migration in the other direction worked (the /etc/hosts file on the other node was correct), and everything I tried to resolve the name, including a small program using the getaddrinfo() library function, was successful. Of course, all my name resolution attempts worked, since I did them as an interactive user, who is not bothered by SELinux contexts.

I had forgotten the iron rule: If you spend hours scratching your head, it's probably related to SELinux.