Clipping paths are a simple, scalable way to create objects. It makes it easier to alter the object's color or shape.
Clipping paths are really just vector shapes that have been turned into a mask. If you understand how vector shapes work (like in Illustrator), then all you need to do is understand masks in Photoshop. Vector shape + mask = clipping path. You might want to post on the Photoshop forum to see if they have links to tutorials on the subject, the only place I could point you is the Photoshop manual or help files.