The arrows in the diagram only indicate the direction of connection establishment -- not traffic flow.
Yes, return traffic goes back through the ELB.
But, it isn't a stateful NAT -- it's a TCP connection proxy. The ELB machines accept TCP connections on the configured listening ports, terminating the SSL session if so configured, and establish a new TCP connection to the back-end server. If the listener is configured for HTTP, the ELB operates in a payload-aware mode parsing, logging, and forwarding HTTP requests to the back-end, otherwise it's payload-agnostic, establishing a new TCP connection 1:1 to the back-end for each incoming connection, and "tying the pipes together" (with no HTTP-level awareness or modification).
Either way, the source address of the incoming connection to your application is going to be that of the ELB node, not the original client. This is how the response traffic returns to the ELB for return to the client.
In http mode, the ELB adds (or appends to) the
X-Forwarded-For header so your application can identify the original client IP, as well as
X-Forwarded-Proto: [ http | https ] to indicate whether the client connection uses SSL and
X-Forwarded-Port to indicate the front-end port.
Update: the above refers to a type of load balancer that is now known as "ELB Classic" or ELB/1.0 (found in the user agent string it sends with HTTP health checks).
The newer Layer 7 balancer, Application Load Balancer or ELB/2.0 operates similarly, with respect to traffic flow. The Layer 4 ("transparent" TCP) capability is removed from ALB and layer 7 features enhanced significantly.
The newest type of load balancer, the Network Load Balancer, is a Layer 3 balancer. Unlike the other two, it behaves very much like dynamic NAT, handling inbound (outside-originated) connections only, mapping source-addr+port through EIP-addr+port to instance-private-ip:adde+port -- with the EIP bound to the "balancer" -- and unlike the other two types of balancers, the instances need to be on public subnets, and use their own public IPs for this.
Conceptually speaking, the Network Load Balancer seems to actually modify the behavior of the Internet Gateway -- which is, itself, a logical object that cannot be disabled, replaced, or experience a failure in any meaningful sense. This is in contrast to ELB and ALB, which actually operate on "hidden" EC2 instances. NLB operates on the network infrastructure, itself, by all appearances.