When you use a COM object from C#, the RCW makes a COM method look like a normal C# instance method. In COM, methods normally return an HRESULT to indicate success or failure and use an out parameter to return a value. In C#, however, methods normally return their result values and use exceptions to report errors. The RCW handles this by checking the HRESULT returned from the call to a COM method and throwing a C# exception when it finds a failure result. With a success result, the RCW returns the parameter marked as the return value in the COM method signature.
For more information on the argument modifiers and default mappings from COM type library types to C# types, see Appendix C.