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It appears someone is making a voltage regulator. The transistor is configured as an emitter follower. This means the emitter voltage will be about 1 diode drop below the base voltage. It appears that the diode D3 is a 39 volt Zener diode which should give you about 38 volts output. But you do not have enough input voltage to get regulation. However, you may have more than 25 x 1.414 unloaded or at high input line voltage.
The 1 k resistor gets hot because you are dissipating about 1.5 watts.
The 1 k resistor is to provide a minimum load on the transistor.
There has to be enough base drive (from the 1.8 k to 0.89 k resistor) to give you your desired output current.