Mask button grayed out when Pen tool's selected?

Hello...
I am going through a tutorial about how to use the Pen tool.
The tut shows that I should be able to click the Mask button in order to create a trans BG. However, mine is grayed out. I cannot find a reason why that would be. I am able to use the Layer Mask under other circumstances.
(The tut has me take an image, draw around the image to practice pulling/dragging, twisting, adding handles etc & so forth).
I have the pen tool set to Path but the Mask doesn't become available under any of the options.
The tut says to click Ctrl + Click on the path and then to click the Mask button.
Any ideas why the Mask is grayed out?
As always ~ I really appreciate your help.
Hope you're having a great night/day

Hello:
I would Love to post a screenshot however my computer is "shot" all my F keys & up to the Delete are non functional. I'm going to get a new laptop asa I find out what would be best to run Adobe Master Suite.
I have Photoshop CS6 Extended.
Any way, yes, {blushing} the BG was selected. TY.
I am suppose to make a selection of the path.
I'm now completely embarrassed. Of course a trans bg can't be made when it's the bg I'm working on.
The tutors' Layer panel shows only Layer 1 and no bg. He said to download the image he uses from Diviantart but the image would only open in a browser. So, I right clicked and saved the image. Then I opened the image which, of course, just opens on the bg layer.
So, am I suppose to create a New file > New Layer and then open the image?
Sorry if my questions seem obvious to you but I am just learning and still very much a newbie.
THANK YOU!!!

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