The common origin story is that his real name is Dr. Victor Fries, who was working desperately to find a cure for the normally terminal illness that his beloved wife Nora was infected with, placing her in cryogenic stasis to buy some time. An accident during the experiments exposed him to the chemicals used to keep her alive, and rendered him only able to survive in sub-freezing temperatures.
He will often commit crimes to get funding to continue his experiments in saving his wife by curing her rare illness. He needs his cryo-suit to stay alive but he also seems to use the technology to create freeze weapons, most commonly the Freeze Ray. Appropriately, his experiences have left him a very humorless, "cold," individual.
Batman: Arkham City
In Arkham City (the game) Fries is trapped in Arkham City (the location), though so is his (still frozen) wife. When Batman first encounters Fries, he is being held prisoner by The Penguin inside his museum lair. Batman helps Fries escape, on the condition that he develop a cure for Batman. Of course it's never that simple, and Batman has to fight Fries in order to get him to help.
After being defeated, Fries ends up giving Batman a vital new item (freeze grenades), and even has a side quest for Batman to complete. This involves finding his wife, who had been stolen by The Joker's thugs.