I agree; although, I think the reason behind it is because most Russian Classics, specifically Dostoevsky, use these names in nearly every highly-regarded literary work. For example, The Brothers Karamazov, Crime and Punishment... Tolstoy's War and Peace uses the names also.
Ты is informal version of singular "you" , while вы is formal singular and both formal and informal plural you. Ты is used for people same age as you, kids, friends, etc. Вы is used for people older than you, strangers... In this particular sentence вы is better choice, because obviously you don't now this person, so using ты would be considered impolite.