The killer forced his way into the third-floor flat in Dumbarton Road, Yoker, and attacked 52-year-old Kenneth McNeil.
Police believe Mr McNeil was visiting the homeowner early yesterday morning, when the intruder burst in and killed him.
Horrified neighbours said the brutal murder has rocked their close-knit Glasgow community.
One shocked local said: "Dumbarton Road isn't exactly quiet.
"But I just don't understand how this could happen in our street, on our doorstep."
Yesterday officers examined the scene for clues and a large area of the pavement remained covered by a forensic tent.
As police guarded the main door of the tenement flat, a woman arrived screaming and crying before collapsing on the ground.
The alarm was raised shortly before 1am yesterday when officers were called to reports of a disturbance. Despite the efforts of paramedics, the man died at the scene.
Sickened officers said the killing was "not a random act" as they appealed for witnesses to come forward.
Neighbours in the street revealed they had been woken by a disturbance.
Cathy Callan, who lives in the next block of flats, said she heard a "commotion" during the night.
She said: "I heard a female screaming, that's what woke me up.
"Then the dog was barking, that's when I looked outside and saw the ambulances and police arriving. It's awful."
A team of officers from the Specialist Crime Division descended on the scene as the murder hunt got under way.
Detective Chief Insp-ector Jim Smith, said yesterday: "Our inquiries are at a early stage to establish the circumstances which led to the death of this man.
"At this time, it is believed that a man arrived at the flat around 12.50am, forced his way into the house and assaulted the victim who was not the householder.
"It is not clear what the motive was but it was not a random act.
"It would appear that the victim was the intended target."
Witnesses were urged to contact police who released a description of their suspect.