The youngster managed to escape and was said to be upset but not hurt.
Police are now searching for a key witness to the incident, which happened at about 3.10pm on Wednesday in Kenmuir Street, Pollokshields.
The boy had been walking along the street when he was approached by a man who pulled him into the back courts of flats. He managed to break free and ran home.
The suspect is described as possibly South East Asian in appearance, 5ft 4in to 5ft 6in, 30 to 35-years-old and unshaven.
He was wearing dark jogging bottoms, hooded top and a baseball cap. It is not believed the incident was racially motivated.
Chief Inspector Hazel Knight, local area commander, said: "Thankfully the boy was not injured, however, it was very upsetting for him.
"We are very keen to trace the man and child that the boy said he ran to get help from following the incident, and who challenged the suspect."
The witness was described as in his 40s, with blond hair and was wearing yellow shorts and a red and white jacket.
He was with a young child who was wearing the school uniform of a local primary school, police said.
Anyone with information is asked to call non-emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where details can be given in confidence.