an unusually silent language corner about this question...
fortunately i found a friendly real swiss person who knew all. there's something to be said for actually talking to real people as well as EF-ing i guess. and i found out that Chöle is schwyzerdeutsch for burnt bits of wood and is slang for money (although why burnt bits of wood is slang for money was a question for another day)
I don't know either, but it's also slang for money in Germany.
I would imagine though, the fact that until quite recently a significant portion of German and/or Swiss homes was heated with coal in ceramic ovens rather than central heating might have something to do with it. Just a guess.