Figurative for a hard-driven person with a mean streak.
An infamous nun in the Seton Keough community in Baltimore County, Maryland was actually called "Hell on Wheels"-- because of her name (Sister Helen Mercedes, which was obviously to pun) and her reputation for cruelty toward students at Seton Keough High School (which was two separate schools while "Hell on Wheels" was there).
by Nickidewbear August 19, 2011
Used to describe someone or something (maybe a pet) that is tough, aggressive and hard to handle.
My 17 year old daughter is hell on wheels - she comes and goes without permission.
by Bomni February 10, 2005