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Within ssh.c, PuTTY uses a server channel number of (unsigned)(-1) to represent a channel that doesn't have a server channel number assigned yet. Neither SSH-1 nor SSH-2, though, places any restriction on the use of 0xffffffff as a channel number, which is what (unsigned)(-1) will be on a 32-bit system. If a server using 0xffffffff as a channel number, PuTTY will not believe that the channel is properly open, and will, for instance, die with a fatal error if the server tries to close it.
Audit trail for this bug.