Threshing floors were places where grain was separated from the chaff. The floor was usually packed clay soil that had been worn smooth. Sheaves of grain were spread out on the floor and trampled upon, ideally by oxen. The oxen would also drag notched wooden sleds which would help pull the grain from the sheaves. Thieves would often try to steal grain during harvest time. Thus, it was not uncommon for the workers to sleep at the threshing floor.
Gleaning was the Hebrew practice of allowing the poor to follow behind those harvesting crops to gather any food or grain left by the harvesters. Gleaners often worked from morning to evening, to gather enough to sustain themselves and their families. After sundown they would take the gathered grain and thresh it to separate the edible portion from the husk.
Redemption is a key theme in the book of Ruth. The words “redeem,” “redeemer,” and “redemption” appear 23 times.