Most folks have probably noted that even though their telephones have buttons that say "redial," they don't actually dial anything in the old-fashioned sense of that word.
To "dial" a phone means to insert your finger into a hole corresponding to a number on a dial, and then move that hole around to send a certain number of pulse signals through the lines. The grouped numbers told the telephone where to make the connection. Dials were the first replacements for the old human operators who actually took a connection line from your phone and plugged it into a jack connected to the phone you wanted to reach. They were later replaced by push-button phones, which used modulated electronic tones instead of groups of pulses.
Anyway, there are a lot of different phrases in our language today that came from technologies no longer in use. This blogger has gathered several, including their original meaning and context.
A number of them originate in old-fashioned sailing ships, which put me and other avid readers of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series a little ahead of the game in knowing them. Even so, I didn't know the specific reference to "the devil to pay and no pitch hot," thinking it more theological than nautical. But then, one should learn something new -- or perhaps, old -- every day.