Yeah, that makes sense. The idea behind "baking" is that you apply the result of a modifier affecting a mesh, that means that the state of the mesh with the modifier becomes the original state of this same mesh.
Maybe this example will explain better: let's take a model of a straight iron bar. You create a skeleton with two bones, and you bend the iron bar using this skeleton, by rigging. The iron bar is visually bent but the original data of the iron bar mesh describes a straight bar (that's the purpose of a modifier, it modify an object in a non-destructive way, so that when you disable it, your object returns to its original state, straight iron bar).
Now you don't want to keep this skeleton, since you are only interested by the "bent version" of this iron bar => you bake the effects of the skeleton. Each software has its own way to do this (I don't know for Maya )
The result is the following: the original data of the bar is changed, and each of its vertexes have a new original position that corresponds to their position under the effect of the skeleton.
After that, you don't need the skeleton anymore. You only need to upload the mesh.
Now, coming back to your sample. You will probably do this for your characters, once for each pose. The only difference is that for the clothes, you will not bake the effect of the skeleton, but the effect of the nCloth (not sure of the name) modifier, that will deform your original cloth geometry.
To sum up, here is the workflow you may probably use for your case:
1. Create the base mesh (the character and its clothes) in T pose.
2. Create a skeleton and set it to your mesh.
3. Add and set the cloth modifier (or maybe it is already included in nCloth object) and set the parameters.
(3.bis Here, you may do a copy of your scene or of your geometries/skeleton.)
4. Tweak the bones to create the first pose. Your charachter will have the pose, and the clothes will be correctly deformed by this pose.
5. Bake both the skeleton on the body, and the cloth modifier to the nCloth (that can probably be done by converting your nCloth object to regular mesh)
6. Your first pose is ready, you can now repeat from 4 with each of your copies to create poses 2, 3 and 4.
I hope it answers your question