According to Hesiod's Theogony, Ploutos was conceived when Demeter, goddess of the harvest, lay with the mortal hero Iasion in a field on the island of Crete which had been plowed three times. Homer's Odyssey (Book 5, ln. 125–28) recounts that when Zeus learned of the relationship between the two, he struck Iasion down with his thunderbolt, killing him.
As the god of wealth, Ploutos is said to travel over land and the sea, bestowing great wealth upon those who take him into their homes. It was further believed that Demeter and Persephone would send Ploutos to give wealth to those who were initiated into the famous Eleusinian Mysteries, religious rites held every year at Eleusis in honor of the two goddesses.
- The name Ploutos (Πλοῦτος in Greek; Latin PLVTVS, Plutus) literally means "wealth" in Greek.