Sometimes it's important to have only one instance for a class. For example, in a system there should be only one window manager (or only a file system or only a print spooler). Usually singletons are used for centralized management of internal or external resources and they provide a global point of access to themselves.
The singleton pattern is one of the simplest design patterns: it involves only one class which is responsible to instantiate itself, to make sure it creates not more than one instance; in the same time it provides a global point of access to that instance. In this case the same instance can be used from everywhere, being impossible to invoke directly the constructor each time.