Thanks for your reply. The cord comes from the center of the drum. The second picture is the Furling line pulled out from the drum. The top picture is with the furling line retracted. It winds itself up the forstay instead of coiling inside the Furling drum. There is a top swivel. There is no halyard and the jib is attached to the forestay so yes it is a wire.
Looks like a Harken #208 drum. If so the hole in the top of the drum is there to tie the furling line to the drum body. You stick the furling line up through and tie a stopper knot and then wind the furling line around the drum inside of the outer finger cage. It would appear that someone left the line a bit long and it is winding up on yo around the sail bundle as it furls. Snip it off and sail!