D'oh. Correction to the above post: It worked, but the link includes the file path, which means it will only work with documents that don't move. This one has to be sent out via email and returned.
Then the document would have to be open while the master file is updated. I've never referenced excel tables embedded in word docs, but it it works like other excel files do, then I would use INDIRECT reference only the filename without the path. The only way path-independent links will work is if the referenced book is open (otherwise the program wouldn't know where to look).