Text is supposed to be utf-8 encoded / one character should be 8 bit long. this makes sense, since the same text should always return the same hash, but I couldn't find anything about it in the RFC. Is there any place where this is documented?
This isn't a requirement of SHA-1, but rather appears to be some requirement of the context in which you encountered this implementation.
SHA-1 doesn't assume anything about the bytes in the message; they may be text in any encoding, image data, random bytes, whatever. However, an actual user of SHA-1 who is hashing text would care about this. Suppose two applications have the same text string, but one uses UTF-8 internally and the other uses UTF-16. If each one just hashes its own raw memory bytes they're going to get different results even though their strings, textually, are the same.
For some reason the bytes for each 32-bit word need to be reversed so the first byte comes last. e.g if we have chunk of 32-bit (reading from left to right).
This is an endianness conversion, so you should familiarize yourself with that concept. This is in fact a requirement of SHA-1. FIPS 180-4 says (p. 7):
Throughout this specification, the “big-endian” convention is used when expressing both 32- and 64-bit words, so that within each word, the most significant bit is stored in the left-most bit position.
The RFC that you link says it this way (which is more confusing, I think):
The least significant four bits of the integer are represented by the right-most hex digit of the word representation. Example: the integer 291 = 2^8+2^5+2^1+2^0 = 256+32+2+1 is represented by the hex word, 00000123.
Whether you need to perform the step that you describe is context-dependent. For example some CPUs are natively big-endian and wouldn't need that step—the bytes would already be in the correct order for the 32-bit operations that SHA-1 performs. Others are natively little-endian and would need the conversion. It can also depend on the details of some network protocol or library that you're working with.