I am an experienced C/C++ developer but I am a novice in Ruby.
How can I call a C++ function from with in Ruby?
You have 3 possibilities :
1) Ruby is able to load libraries. Even if it is a bit tricky, you can decide to write your own loader and bind your C++ library in Ruby. This is done using what is called an extension module. You will find a comprehensive tutorial here: http://www.rubyinside.com/how-to-create-a-ruby-extension-in-c-in-under-5-minutes-100.html
2) You can use a tool that will generate the Ruby wrapper around your C++ library. Look at SWIG for example (http://www.swig.org/). You just have to create a file in a swig-specific syntax and provide it to SWIG. It will then be able to generate the wrapper for many languages, Ruby included.
3) You can choose to use a middleware, such as CORBA/ICE/whatever. It may be a bit overkill if you only want to call some C++ functions, but it will allow you to remote call the functions, or "hide" a grid behind the middleware.