Groan… Library dependencies…! I more or less understand how this stuff works, but i still have lots of problems with it.
There are two “versions” of libraries - the runtime library and the development library. If you’ve got libssl.so.0.9.7 but make (or config, or whatever) is still complaining libssl isn’t there, then you’ve probably got the runtime library but not the development library.
You didn’t say what distribution you’re using - and how you install things varies from one to another - but basically you probably need to install a package called something like libssl-devel.
Someone else who knows more about this stuff than i do may be able to enlighten you further (or correct me, maybe!).