Yes, and how that happens is not confusing at all if you understand how the Amazon site works.
If someone clicks through one of your links, and has your affiliate ID assigned to their actions, then whatever they might order during the activity period (an order must actually ship and not get returned for you to see $$) will be credited to you.
That would be fanstastic to hit it just right as someone does all of the Christmas shopping! Haven't heard the ham one before....haha. But, I have seen people randomly sell expensive jewelry and super-expensive TV's before and get a nice cut of that couple thousand.
While I have usually only sold products I have linked to before, the same is not true this month. With the exception of about 2 orders, I have sold a decent amount of random things. Essentially, you are right when it comes to traffic. As long as traffic is being generated by the links we have a chance to makes some sales - whether they happen to buy what we wrote about or not.
I had someone pop over to amazon through one of my historical books (which they returned) and spend over $400 on other books - seemed (from their selection) as though they were a college student. Love it when that happens.