Yes, RRToadHall is correct! It's for yo skis maaaaan! It protects the leather from getting cut by the ski edges. Personally, I'm a big fan of skiing and pretty much all snow sports and when seeing that it made me want to buy and use it for that reason alone. Irrational of sorts, sure, but nice to have. If you haven't gone skiing in a while, or ever, maybe it's time to take a trip into the mountains and use that!
I use that center pass-through all ski season long. I love it, otherwise my skis wouldn't actually fit in the cargo area. I've had other larger SUVs where my skis would actually fit in flat diagonally so this was a much-appreciated feature by LR that still allows me to keep our gear covered and concealed when we're travelling to & from the slopes.
I'm a snowboarder, and just got .y 10 year old son into it also. Haven't tried, but assume our boards won't fit into the ski pass through area. His fits flat in the cargo area, and mine rests over the seat opposite his. No big deal.