The sentence 他誰都怕 (t¯a sh´ei d¯ou p`a) has two different readings, depending on specific structural analysis for t¯a (他) and sh´ei (誰). The two NPs, t¯a (他) and sh´ei (誰), at the beginning of the sentence can be analyzed as having different functions prescribed by the Chinese phrase-structure rules and discourse factors.
To begin with, when t¯a (他) is an undergoer and sh´ei (誰) is a doer, the sentence should be interpreted as "everybody is afraid of him." t¯a (他) is fronted to take up the sentence-initial position as a topic.
However, when sh´ei (誰) is an undergoer and t¯a (他) is a doer, the sentence means "He is afraid of everybody." In this case, sh´ei (誰) is fronted as a secondary topic for the emphasis “afraid of everybody.”
In sum, the basic Chinese word order can be altered as long as it is pragmatically motivated and syntactically well formed.
Reference: Chinese: a linguistic introduction by Chao Fen Sun