Pulled hiter and thither by circumstances

What does it mean when somone is “so pulled hither and thither by circumstances”? Also what does “driving through the press” mean?

“Hither and thither” means “this way and that way”. So you could say that the person was pulled back and forth by the situation.

Without context, I can’t be sure what “driving through the press” means, unless “press” here means a very dense crowd. It could mean pushing through the crowd, the way Elvis Presley and the Beatles had to do in the old days. Sometimes politicians have to be driven through big crowds of protesters, and that could be called drivng through the press. That is, if I have guessed the situation right.

Well this person was talking about how he had to bury himself in a third-story room working on this book he was writing while it is driving through the press." Do you think the IT here refers to the book?

Yes. I think it probably means the book is moving through the press, that is, being printed.

But…if he hasn’t done writting yet, how could it be printed?

Maybe he’s writing one book while a previous one is being printed. I just can’t know unless I read the whole chapter.