Unless I'm mistaken, it could mean either.
'real' in both sentences technically has the same meaning in English, it's just that context changes the implications of the use of the word a bit, and short of Swedish having a word that specifically means 'not fake' other than 'riktig' (and from a quick search I can't seem to find one), I'd expect it to be the same as in English in this respect.
The standard answer without getting into linguistic history is 'it just is'.
I'm kind of curious about this myself though. I don't know for certain about he pronunciation, but the other Nordic languages also use 'de' for 'they'. I think the Swedish pronunciation is just a quirk here, but I can't really tell how this evolved given that there's not an immediately obvious link to the Old Norse þeir/þær/þau (which ironically seem closer to English than any of the Nordic languages) and I can't readily find good information on the Old Swedish forms.
If you're Christian and you are able to check the older version of Swedish bible called "Karl XIIs:Bibel:1873" where Older/classical Swedish was written. In some theories the pronounciation for "de" and "dem" was the same way as in Danish today at some point. Also other words i can found who are now changed before that period like some words were : tager => tar af => av lifvet => livet hafver => har skrifvit => skrivit blifver => blir tolftusend => tolv tusen huru => hur qvinno => kvinna