The proverb uses the imagery of a home or event where one is invited for them to attend. By the personification of prosperity and death, our elders used the act of invitation to show endeavour required for prosperity to thrive. In contrast death will visit us regardless of what efforts we may put. The reference to death however is not to be confined to the literal, but more as a linkage with dying due to poverty. Hence with this proverb our elders where encouraging us to work hard for our livelihood.
The proverb is used to re-enforce the importance of hardworking in order to prosper as there is not prosperity that merely falls into one’s lap. It uses the important comparison with death to push home the profound effect of laziness or sloth.