October Surprise is a news event that has the potential to influence the outcome of an election, especially the US Presidential elections. It's "sprung" in October, just before the election, because that's when the political strategists think it'll do the most good (or damage). Also, the timing takes into consideration the ability of the opponent having time to respond/react. Sneaky and clever, but frequently effective. Also, frequently, there's a conspiracy theory or two involved.
"The New York Times is pushing a story that the Obama administration will hold one on one talks with Iran after the election on their nuclear program."
(Note: underline added for emphasis)
The story dissects the report. Me (should you care), I think it's a desperate campaign grasping at straws. A campaign that's so desperate it's willing to try anything to get their person re-elected. They've entered Panic Mode.