I looked through all nine pages in the manifest.
They are recorded in this order: 2nd cabin, Steerage, Saloon passengers
Second Cabin and Steerage Passengers have it, Saloon passengers don't.
I don't think it's a pound symbol, I think it's a Z, which is often written with a bar across the middle.
There are other letter/number sequences, beginning with A, H, P, U, X
Some are only number sequences 03/4155
I'm wondering if they are ticket numbers? But not every group has one.
I compared it to the manifest on the NY end, to see if anything popped up to explain it. There isn't anything there.
Manifests from the late 1890s often have inconsistencies, but this one is a doozy.
San Francisco, CA