forget what he says. what counts is what he is doing. is he present a lot? is he asking you out?
I think you should move on then if he says he does not like you and only feels sorry for you. but you said in your question he does like you ? just to go out and have a coffee or movie etc is not necessarily dating ... to me a date is more intimate when you share you thoughts and secrets and hold hands and kiss etc why not just ask him out for a coffee? and keep the conversation friendly. good luck.
Sounds like he doesn't know what he wants. Ask him straight up, no beating around the bush, don't let guys play you.
Sounds like people think that if someone likes you they HAVE to love you as well and be out for your ****... O.o