Rev 14:1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.

Rev 14:2
And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

The passage says the 144,000 were redeemed from the earth and most interestingly virgins.

My understanding is:

1. These people are literal because we are told that they were redeemed from the earth as firstfruits.
2. They followed the Lamb wherever he went - suggests they are adults and if so, were they celibate out of choice or does God have a hand in their lifestyle?
3. Verse 5 says no guile was found in their mouth and they were without fault before God - how do we reconcile this with Rom 3:10 "As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one?

But if we interpret them to be figurative, what then is their significance?