Jonathan Schmid gave the hosts the lead midway through the first half, but substitute Anthony Modeste levelled five minutes from time.
Hoffenheim nearly stole victory late on, but it remained all square with the point doing little to help either side out of a precarious situation in the lower regions of the Bundesliga.
These two sides shared six goals between them earlier this season, but both coaches had predicted on the eve of the match that it would not be so open this time.
They were not wrong either as the Baden-Wurttemberg derby developed into a scrap for survival.
Clearcut chances were at a premium with neither side willing to take that little bit of a risk to try to open up their defence.
Koen Casteels was forced to make the first save of the game midway through the first half to deny Felix Klaus' diagonal effort.
Oliver Baumann had no such work to do at the other end with a Kevin Volland shot over the crossbar the closest Hoffenheim coming to scoring.
Freiburg shook off all of their inhibitions in the second half, pushing for a goal which they found in the 68th minute.
Admir Mehmedi picked up possession in the final third and burst into the penalty area before squaring for Schmid, who completed the attack by putting the ball into the back of the net.
The same pair combined in reverse order five minutes after with Mehmedi sending a header just wide of the post.
The Swiss forward went even closer in the 75th minute when he found the post with only Casteels to beat.
The misses proved costly for Freiburg as Modeste levelled for Hoffenheim with a precise diagonal effort beyond the reach of Baumann in the 85th minute.
Modeste nearly snatched victory in the last minute, but he placed his shot just wide of the goal as the two sides could not be separated for the second time this season.