IC1 astable gives a fixed square wave at pin 3, C1 and R1 derive uS trigger pulses from IC1 and this will trigger IC2 monostable or single shot, the voltage at pin 5 of IC2 will change the pulse width output of IC2, to get it working all the three RC combinations have to be figured out.
Optical Obstacle Switch.
You can even build a small SMPS with this or even control the temperature of your soldering iron using the SSR solid state relay circuits in power section, then you need to think and design the cycle time of a soldering iron heat control system, it will be in seconds but then above circuit is running at audio frequencies, then you have to work that out yourself..
Pulse width modulation using 555
The 555 was the first SmartChip of the early days, in those days we had Opamp and Logic Chips, this was a Mixed Signal Design chip that was Field Programmable, with presets of course. Innovation Par-Excellence.