The song by Chris de Burgh, "Don't Pay the Ferryman" is talking about an old man called Charon, a spirit of hell, who transports the souls across a river in hell. See: http://www.theoi.com/Khthonios/Kharon.html
In ancient mythology souls across this river to their next destination. The Egyptian religion also has the soul travelling on a boat as it reaches its destination.
Once in hell some people are lucky to escape. Both human souls and jinn (demons, evil spirits) will be in hell together being punished for their sins. Both can be redeemed and jinn will also enter Paradise alongside human souls.
Islam teaches people will come out of Islam and that God will intercede three times to get people out. A case is made by a Muslim that hell is not eternal but a temporary purgatory system. Hell in his opinion will end with every believer entering Paradise. See his article, Get the Hell (Eternal) out of Islam.
Here is the Islamic tradition of coming out of hell:
Narrated by al-Bukhaari (6192) and Muslim (184).
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stated that they will change after they are brought forth from the Fire.
It was narrated from Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said of the Jahannamiyyoon (those who had been in Hell) that they “would be brought forth from the Fire after having been in it. They will come out as if they are branches of sesame. Then they will go into one of the rivers of Paradise, where they will wash themselves, then they will emerge like sheets of paper.”
Narrated by Muslim (191).
Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The word sesame refers to the well-known sesame from which sesame oil is extracted. Imam Abu’l-Sa’aadaat al-Mubaarak ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Kareem al-Jazari, who is known as Ibn al-Atheer (may Allaah have mercy on him), said: What it means – and Allaah knows best – is that if the branches of sesame are gathered and left in the sun so that their seeds may be collected, they turn thin and black as if they have been burned, so these people are likened to them.
“then they will emerge like sheets of paper” They are likened to sheets of paper because they will be so white after they wash themselves and all the blackness that was on them is removed.
Sharh Muslim (3/52).
According to a report narrated by al-Bukhaari (6190):
It was narrated from Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “They will emerge from the Fire through intercession as if they are small cucumbers.”
Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
With regard to small cucumbers … What is meant is something that is white and small.
This likeness refers to how they will be after they grow. But when they first emerge from Hell they will be like charcoal as we shall see in the hadeeth below.
Fath al-Baari (11/429).
They will become like pearls, and Allaah will bestow His good pleasure upon them, and He will never be angry with them.
It was narrated from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah will say: ‘The angels have interceded, the Prophets have interceded and there is no one left but the Most Merciful of those who show mercy.’ Then He will take a handful from Hell, and will bring out people who never did any good and who will have turned into charcoal. He will throw them into a river on the outskirts of Paradise that is called the River of Life, and they will emerge like seeds in the silt carried by a flood. … They will emerge like pearls with jewels around their necks, and the people of Paradise will recognize them. These are the ones ransomed by Allaah, whom Allaah admitted to Paradise with no good deed that they did or sent on ahead. Then He will say: ‘Enter Paradise, and whatever you see is yours.’ They will say: ‘Our Lord, You have given us what You have never given to anyone else in creation.’ He will say: ‘You will have something better than that with Me.’ They will say, ‘O Lord, what could be better than this?’ He will say, ‘My good pleasure, for I will never be angry with you again.’”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari (7002) and Muslim (183).
This is an important hadeeth in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) points out the great status of those who are brought forth from Hell, and the honours that their Lord will bestow upon them by His grace and bounty, which include:
(a) Being thrown in the River of Life, and growing anew.
(b) Emerging from the river like pearls with jewels around their necks
(c) Being given everything that they see in Paradise.
(d) Their thinking, because of the blessings and the ultimate joy they experience, that Allaah has honoured them with something that He has not bestowed upon anyone else.
(e) He will bestow His pleasure upon them and never be angry with them again.
The honour that Allaah will bestow upon these people who enter Paradise is confirmed in the following hadeeth:
It was narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “I know the last of the people of Hell to be brought forth, and the last of the people of Paradise to enter therein. It will be a man who will emerge crawling from Hell, and Allaah, may He be blessed and exalted, will say to him: ‘Go and enter Paradise.’ He will come to it and it will appear to him to be full. He will go back and say, ‘O Lord, I found it full.’ Allaah, may He be blessed and exalted, will say to him: ‘Go and enter Paradise.’ He will go to it and it will appear to him to be full. He will go back and say, ‘O Lord, I found it full.’ Allaah, may He be blessed and exalted, will say to him: ‘Go and enter Paradise, and you will have the equivalent of the whole world and ten times as much.’ He will say, ‘Are You mocking me – or laughing at me – when You are the Sovereign?’” He said: And I saw the Messenger of Allaah (S) smile so broadly that his molars appeared. And he said: “That will be the lowest of the people of Paradise in status.”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari (6202) and Muslim (186).
4 – They will be known as al-Jahannamiyyoon (the hellish ones) or “ ‘utaqa’ al-Jabbaar” (those ransomed by the Compeller, i.e., Allaah), then this name will be lifted from them.
The name al-Jahannamiyyoon is the plural of jahannami, i.e., hellish (of or pertaining to Hell), What is meant is that Allaah has ransomed them from Hell.
It was narrated from Anas ibn Maalik that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Some people will be brought forth from the Fire after its flames touch them (and change their colour), then they will be admitted to Paradise, and the people of Paradise will call them al-Jahannamiyyoon.”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari (6191).
Ahmad (12060) narrated from Anas: “… they will enter Paradise and the people of Paradise will say: These are al-Jahannamiyyoon.” But al-Jabbaar (the Compeller – Allaah) will say: ‘No, rather they are the ones ransomed by al-Jabbaar, may He be glorified and exalted.’”
Classed as saheeh by Ibn Mandah in al-Eemaan (2/847); Ibn Khuzaymah (2/710) and al-Albaani in Hukm Taarik al-Salaah (p. 33).
Ibn Hibbaan narrated from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri: “… In Paradise they will be called al-Jahannamiyyoon, because of the blackness on their faces, and they will say: ‘Our Lord, take this name away from us.’ So He will command them to wash themselves in a river in Paradise and will take that away from them.”
Narrated and classed as saheeh by Ibn Hibbaan (16/457). It was also classed as saheeh by Shu’ayb al-Arna’oot.
It was narrated that Anas ibn Maalik said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The most affluent of the people in this world, of those who will go to Hell, will be brought on the Day of Resurrection and dipped once in the Fire. Then it will be said: O son of Adam, did you ever see anything good? Did you ever have any pleasure? He will say: No, by Allaah, O Lord. Then the most destitute of the people in this world, of those who will enter Paradise, will be brought and dipped once in Paradise, and it will be said to him: O son of Adam, did you ever see anything bad? Did you ever experience any hardship? He will say: No, by Allaah, O Lord. I never saw anything bad and I never experienced any hardship.”
Narrated by Muslim (2807)
Another indication that one dip in the bliss of Paradise will take away all hardship that came before it, even the hardship of being punished in Hell, in addition to what we have mentioned of their forms being changed after they are thrown into the River of Life, is the report narrated by Muslim (2836) from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) who said: “Whoever enters Paradise will enjoy bliss and will not be miserable, his clothes will not wear out and his youth will not fade.”
This blessing confirms that misery will be erased for the one who enters Paradise, and it is general in meaning and includes everyone who enters it, whether they entered Hell beforehand or not.
Al-Qaadi said: What this means is that Paradise is the abode of stability and blessing which will not change or be disturbed by any hardship or corruption. Quoted in Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi (7/194).
For all of these reasons, Allaah tells us about the condition of the people of Paradise when they enter it:
“And they will say: ‘All the praises and thanks be to Allaah Who has removed from us (all) grief. Verily, our Lord is indeed Oft‑Forgiving, Most Ready to appreciate (good deeds and to recompense).
35. Who, out of His Grace, has lodged us in a home that will last forever, where toil will touch us not nor weariness will touch us’”
Shaykh al-Sa’di (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: i.e., the home of eternal abode, the home where one will want to stay forever, because of the many good things therein, and because of the ongoing delight and because there is nothing to disturb this pleasure.
That is “out of His Grace” towards us and His Bounty, not because of our deeds. Were it not for His Grace, we would not have reached the point we have reached.
“where toil will touch us not nor weariness will touch us” i.e., there will be no tiredness in body, heart or strength, or because of an abundance of pleasures. This indicates that Allaah will make their bodies physically perfect and will create all means of making their abode there one of continuous delight and pleasure, so that they will not be touched by toil or weariness, or by worry or sorrow.
Tafseer al-Sa’di (689).