(1) Log on to the remote server and visit wp-config.php, take note of the database, username and password.
(2) Make sure you have the same code locally (except wp-config.php, which is probably excluded from your version control repo), and run the following:
ssh email@example.com "mysqldump -uuser -ppassword databasename --default-character-set=utf8" > database.sql
echo 'create database localdb' | mysql -uroot -proot
mysql -uroot -proot localdb --default-character-set=utf8 < database.sql
cp wp-config-sample.php wp-config.php
Now edit wp-config.php and put your local database information in there.
I normally get a white screen if I try to access Wordpress in a domain that looks like http://localhost/wordpress, so you might need to set up your /etc/hosts and virtual hosts file to be able to access your wordpress site at a domain like http://wordpress.localhost/.