In his famous "23 problems" speech, Hilbert gave his second problem as follows:
The axioms of arithmetic are essentially nothing else than the known rules of calculation, with the addition of the axiom of continuity. I recently collected them and in so doing replaced the axiom of continuity by two simpler axioms, namely, the well-known axiom of Archimedes, and a new axiom essentially as follows: that numbers form a system of things which is capable of no further extension, as long as all the other axioms hold (axiom of completeness). I am convinced that it must be possible to find a direct proof for the compatibility of the arithmetical axioms, by means of a careful study and suitable modification of the known methods of reasoning in the theory of irrational numbers.
Now, I'm not sure what he's referring to in the "recently" but it might be his paper "On the concept of number" published also at 1900. In this paper Hilbert gives an axiomatic system for the real numbers (with order).
Now, I vaguely (very vaguely...) know that the theory for real closed fields behaves quite differently from the theory of arithmetic for the natural numbers - the former is not subject to Gödel's incompleteness theorem while the latter, of course, is. So it seems to be (and I might be wrong) that if Hilbert meant something in the spirit of the former, than Gödel has not answered Hilbert's second problem at all (of course, there is not denying the importance of Gödel's results to Hilbert's program; I am interested here only in Hilbert's 2nd problem).
Now, everywhere I look it seems that Hilbert's 2nd problem is interpreted as a question of the axioms of the arithmetic of natural numbers, e.g. Peano arithmetic. For example, Wikipedia states that
It is now common to interpret Hilbert's second question as asking for a proof that Peano arithmetic is consistent (Franzen 2005:p. 39).
(I looked at Frenzen' book; I have to admit I didn't see anything that sounded like the above quotation there but I might have simply missed).
So, what was Hilbert's 2nd problem about? Is it correct to interpret it as a question about Peano arithmetic? Is it correct to claim that Gödel's theorem had a major impact on the question? Or is it a confusion between Hilbert's program and the 2nd question?