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It is a leather seat situated in a tree. It is used by hunters to shoot animals, quite often (and sadly) tigers.
Man-eating tiger is killed by police with help of a machan.
November 11, 2007 — CNN-IBN

Brahmapuri: A tiger, that allegedly killed four people near the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve in Chandrapur district in Maharashtra, has been shot dead by the police while they were viewing in a "machan" (a vantage platform to observe the tiger).

Officials say the tiger was a man-eater. It was shot while was feasting on a bullock it had killed, bringing an end to a month-long operation to trap the wild cat.

On October 16, the tiger had attacked two women and killed one of them. Angry villagers had set fire to the forest range office and demanded compensation.

Wildlife NGOs are calling the killing unforgivable, and demanding to know why the tiger was shot and not tranquilised and captured.

"A team of forest guards and commandos while preparing to set up a 'machan' (a vantage platform to observe) spotted the tiger Friday morning, which until now was presumed to be a tigress," Ranjan told IANS.

"The forest guards didn't carry the tranquillising guns and darts, though they were hoping the tiger would return to eat the bullock carcass it had left Thursday. But when it finally arrived, they had no time to bring the equipments from the range office," Ranjan said.

Reacting to Ranjan's explanation for setting out to kill the tiger instead of attempting to tranquillise it, Nitin Desai, a director with the Delhi-based NGO Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), said it was an unforgivable act on the part of the forest department that reflected their careless attitude.

Ranjan said shooting down of the man-eating tiger would help the department to protect the remaining 40 tigers
in the park.