The adverb figuratively describes something symbolic, not actual. If a friend invites you to tonight's concert but you already have plans with your family, you might say — figuratively — that your hands are tied.
Something that's said figuratively isn't intended to be taken as the literal truth, but as a symbol of something, or as emphasis. Figures of speech are good examples of things people say figuratively, like "the book begged to be read," or "I'm so hungry I could eat a horse" — not meant to be understood literally (you really don't want to eat that horse, do you?). The Latin word figurare, "to form or fashion," is the root of figuratively.