Answer: Add the "p" tag inside the "div" tag: <div><p>"hello"</p></div>
var certBody = '<div> <p> hello </p> </div>';
var xml = "<?xml version=\"1.0\"?>\n<!DOCTYPE pdf PUBLIC \"-//big.faceless.org//report\" \"report-1.1.dtd\">\n<pdf>\n<body>"+certBody+"</body>\n</pdf>";
var file = nlapiXMLToPDF( xml );
response.write( file.getValue() );
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