Segments filter by the outer container, then the inner container. According to the documentation it's not possible to have a Visitor container within a Hit container, but I wanted to check if maybe there was an alternate method for that.
Basically I want to first filter a data set for only specific hits, then I want to filter only those hits for a visitor level criteria. Possible/not possible?
The container works as a wrapper for any segment. to filter a data set for only specific hits, you could use hit based segment.
About segments and containers:
Why can't you just use a single Hit-level container?
It stands to reason that since you're ultimately getting a segment of Hits, because that's your outer container, then anything within that container should be filtered/segmented based on Hits too.
Or maybe I'm not understanding your problem correctly.
I think you might want to first create a Visitor container that match you first hit criteria, then another container to exclude Visitors or visits or hits that do not match further criteria.