Sisyphus was the King of Ephyra. Although he was a clever ruler, he was also a tyrant who would murder his guests and steal from them. His violation of the sacred laws of hospitality angered the Gods, and They devise some way to get rid of him.
Escaping the Underworld
Hades contacted the God of Death, Thanatos. He gave Him a set of chains, telling Him to bind Sisyphus to the Underworld. However, Sisyphus tricked Thanatos by pretending to be fascinated with the mystical chains, and cuffing Him while He was off-guard.
The Gods discovered what happened and dragged his soul into the Underworld in fury. But the clever king told his wife beforehand to not hold a proper funeral, so that he can garner pity from the compassionate Persephone once he was in the Underworld.
Sisyphus arrives in the Underworld, and laments that his terrible wife did not even hold him a funeral. As he predicted, Persephone felt sympathy and allowed him to return to the mortal realm for 3 days to get things in order.
With his scheme successful, Sisyphus returns to his body, escaping the underworld and living a long, happy life.
Upon his death, Sisyphus is at the mercy of the wrathful Gods. He is punished by being forced to roll a boulder up a hill with it falling down the other side for eternity; for no one shall cheat death.