Adrian Mathias offers the following explanation here:
Bourbaki use the Hilbert operator but write it as $\tau$ rather than $\varepsilon$, which latter is visually too close to the sign $\in$ for the membership relation. Bourbaki use the word assemblage, or in their English translation, assembly, to mean a finite sequence of signs or leters, the signs being $\tau$, $\square$, $\lor$, $\lnot$, $=$, $\in$ and $\bullet$.
The substitution of the assembly $A$ for each occurrence of the letter $x$ in the assembly $B$ is denoted by $(A|x) B$.
Bourbaki use the word relation to mean what in English-speaking countries is usually called a well-formed formula.
The rules of formation for $\tau$-terms are these:
Let $R$ be an assembly and $x$ a letter; then the assembly $\tau_x(R)$ is obtained in three steps:
- form $\tau R$, of length one more than that of $R$;
- link that first occurrence of $\tau$ to all occurrences of $x$ in $R$
- replace all those occurrences of $x$ by an occurrence of $\square$.
In the result $x$ does not occur. The point of that is that there are no bound variables; as variables become bound (by an occurrence of $\tau$), they are replaced by $\square$, and those occurrences of $\square$ are linked to the occurrence of $\tau$ that binds them.
The intended meaning is that $\tau_x(R)$ is some $x$ of which $R$ is true.