I wonder why, instead of a vague comment that the book is "not old" (whatever that's supposed to mean), you didn't provide its citation.
I'm familiar with the use of a metal surface to catalyze hydrogenation reactions. I'm not familiar with the concept of "nascent hydrogen". First, an arc discharge can reach temperatures of several thousands of degrees. So, I have to assume that we are not talking about atomic hydrogen at such temperatures, but rather in a highly diluted state in, say STP air. Otherwise a comparison of it with the supposed aqueous species [H] wouldn't be very useful. (Hint: atoms are indeed more reactive at higher temperatures.)
There's another problem which is the metal surface. As I said, I'm familiar with the increased reactivity that H2 shows when absorbed onto a metal surface (also H+) but apparently your textbook is claiming that there exists a species [H] in solution. I need the citations to the primary literature to believe that.
The final problem (and I'm not actually sure the distinction is a difference) is the different states and environments of the species H (gas phase, dilute) with [H]aq. At first, chemistry seems to be about atoms and molecules interacting in simple ways in isolation. It doesn't take long at all, to see that environment matters greatly. I don't understand what the context is for your question. In what context will [H] (if it exists as a separate species, and I'm dubious) be compared to atomic H? Was the atomic H dissolved in water so that the environments were comparable?
One last comment: Climbing the steps of knowledge is hard. If you have taken one step farther than anyone before you, it is a major accomplishment. There are few who are able to take more than a few steps up. Even Einstein failed in his rejection of Quantum Mechanics. My point here is that if your textbook is "new", then how old is its author? Is he (she) possibly stuck with some obsolete paradigms?