You are not alone in finding difficulty in distinguishing abductive from inductive reasoning. It doesn't help that 'abductive' inference is a relatively new term in philosophy - historically much more recent than 'deductive' or 'inductive' - or that there is no canonical statement of it.
Will you bear with me a bit while I try out some contrasts ?
In a deductively valid argument the conclusion cannot be false if the premises are true. Well, we know abductive inference is nothing like that.
In an inductively strong argument, the conclusion is merely unlikely to be false if the premises are true.
So what ground is left for abductive inference ? It's really an intelligent guess. It's not just a guess, it's an intelligent guess. Peerhaps this can be illustrated by an example from CS Peirce (wjo some say and others deny originated the notion of abductive inference). He was btw writing long ago :
THE FOUR HORSEMEN EXAMPLE
I once landed at a seaport in a Turkish province; and, as I was walking up to
the house which I was to visitr, I met a man upon horseback, surrounded by
four horsemen holding a canopy over his head. AS the governor of the province
was the only personage I could think of who would be so greatly honored, I
inferred that this was he. This was a hypothesis.
Maybe one difference between induction and abduction is that induction often relies on regularities or lawlike correlations. It is an inductive inference that if I smoke 60 cigarettes a day for twenty years, I will get lung cancer. It doesn't deductively follow that I will but there's an uncomfortably high probability.
Or : what is the likelihood that if I earn more than $100,000 a year I will be audited by the tax authorities ? Regularly about 5% of people on this income scale are audited, so the probability is quite low. (Figures invented.)
In the case of Peirce's abductive inference about the governor, nothing like these regularities or lawlike correlations are in play. Yet he made an intelligent guess. On this occasion in the light of Peirce's knowledge of social customs, it was the inference to the best explanation that the person was the governor.
There is an academic squabble over whether abductive inference and inference to the best explanation are the same thing. I assume they are. Those who disagree can make their case.
The Four Horseman example and the phrase, 'intelligent guess', are taken from Douglas Walton, 'Abductive Reasoning', Tuscaloosa : University of Alabama Press, 2004, 5-6. Walton also discusses the abduction/ inference to the best explanation : 6.