The link between the software driver and the hardware depends on what type of hardware. It sounds like you are using an add-on card. If it is relatively recent, I guess it is PCI bus-based. When the system boots, the BIOS assigns IRQ values and memory ports to the cards on the PCI bus, but these can be overridden by the operating system.
In the case of the old fashioned ISA bus, these are only assigned by the BIOS and can't normally be changed by the OS. In my humble opinion, this situation is simpler.
So if your card is a PCI card, reboot the machine into the BIOS menu, and look at what comes up for the IRQ value and memory port assigned to the card. Somehow, these will probably have to appear in your driver.
If you expect the system to take care of it, then you will have to very carefully check the boot logs to see if it even detects your card when it is installed.
P.S. One last recommendation: Linux Device Drivers bible http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/linuxdrive3/index.html